Two Arrested in Bryan Stow Beating

Los Angeles district attorney's office charged Norwood and Louie Sanchez with one count each of felony mayhem, battery and assault.


 
 

GREGG PATTON and JOHN ASBURY, The Press Enterprise | | Monday, July 25, 2011


The high-profile - and once dramatically detoured - investigation of the vicious beating of a San Francisco Giants fan may have come to rest in a tranquil Rialto neighborhood.

Two residents of the city were charged, and a third arrested, in connection with the opening day attack at Dodger Stadium that left Santa Cruz paramedic Bryan Stow, 42, critically injured.

Friday, the day after Marvin Eugene Norwood, 30, Louie Alex Sanchez, 29, and Dorene Sanchez, 31, were taken into custody by Los Angeles and Rialto police, neighbors who knew them remained in stunned disbelief.

"I don't think it's them," said Dean Burgess, 51, who said he was close to both men. "I think they've got the wrong guy. But I could be shocked."

Neighbor Danyelle Dixon said she often saw Louie Sanchez playing catch with his son.

"It's scary," she said. "But you don't know. He doesn't look like the type of person they'd catch for this. He doesn't fit the profile."

The Los Angeles district attorney's office charged Norwood and Louie Sanchez with one count each of felony mayhem, battery and assault. Sanchez also was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery stemming from a separate incident the same day.

Bail was set at $500,000 each. Arraignment is scheduled for Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Dorene Sanchez, Louie's sister and apparent partner of Norwood, was arrested on suspicion of accessory after the fact. She was released on $50,000 bail without being charged, LA Police Chief Charlie Beck said Friday.

A law enforcement source told the Associated Press on Friday that the two men made incriminating statements implicating themselves in the beating.

Meanwhile, Giovanni Ramirez, a Los Angeles gang member who was arrested in May in connection with the case, but never charged, was cleared by Beck.

"It took a long amount of time to exonerate Mr. Ramirez," said the chief, citing 850 leads and 600 interviews by his detectives.

"It's just as important to exonerate the innocent as find the guilty," Beck said.

Witnesses to the March 31 attack said Stow - wearing Giants gear and walking through the parking lot with two friends after the game - was hit from behind and knocked to the ground.

Two men then brutally beat him, before a woman picked them up and drove away. A boy, about 10, was said to be in the car.

Physical descriptions roughly match the suspects. Norwood was described as 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Louie Sanchez 5-11, 175, with tattoos on his neck.

The Thursday arrests startled residents on their normally quiet cul de sac. Dozens of Los Angeles and Rialto SWAT officers parked Crown Victorias and SUVs one block away, then swarmed to a house where Louie Sanchez reportedly lived with his parents, a few doors away from Norwood's and Dorene Sanchez's home.

On Friday, in the driveway of the stucco and brick house Sanchez shared with his parents was a gray Chevrolet Silverado with a Dodgers license plate frame. No one answered the door for a reporter, as news vans and other reporters gathered on the street. A woman who answered the phone at the home said neither of the suspects lived there and hung up.

Burgess said he often watched Dodgers games with the men and socialized with them at barbecues. He said Louie Sanchez helped his son fix a truck.

"They're nice people," he said. "I feel bad for (Stow), but I hope they get their info right and catch the people who did this."

Neighbor Anthony Scott, 25, said he saw Dorene Sanchez being led away in handcuffs Thursday, but he remained skeptical of the arrests. He said police sketches "look nothing like my homies."

Said Scott, "Louis was a Dodgers fan. We all are. Just being a fan doesn't mean he'd do something like that."

Norwood and Sanchez have local criminal histories.

Norwood was convicted in San Bernardino County Superior Court of felony spousal battery in 2006 and sentenced to 118 days in jail. He also had a 2000 battery charge reduced to disturbing the peace, and a conviction for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sanchez had a misdemeanor spousal battery conviction in 2003, and a no-contest plea to carrying a loaded firearm in 2004, also in San Bernardino County. In 2005, he had a felony evasion of a police officer conviction and two driving under the influence convictions, collectively bundled into a six-month sentence.

Louie Sanchez has a misdemeanor DUI conviction in Riverside County, as well.

Ramirez was arrested during a raid in May, police accusing him in a showy news conference as the prime suspect, after following a tip from his parole officer.

But in the ensuing weeks, Ramirez was able to produce numerous alibis, as well as a surveillance tape from a restaurant showing him with hair during the period of the attack. Descriptions said the two attackers had shaved heads. When prosecutors failed to file a case against Ramirez, the investigation resumed.

Ramirez remains in custody in San Diego on a parole violation.

The attack on opening day was national news, and heaped more trouble on beleaguered Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who already was embroiled in a contentious divorce and mired in financial troubles with his team.

While fans from both the Giants and Dodgers held vigils and engaged in fundraising for Stow and his family, security issues at the stadium were dissected.

The LAPD subsequently took charge, getting McCourt to foot the bill. Police presence increased dramatically, particularly in the parking areas. Undercover officers also were assigned to work inside the stadium, to curb aggressive and drunken behavior.

Stow has been largely comatose for more than three months. He was eventually transferred from LA to San Francisco General Hospital where he remains. He had emergency surgery on Monday to alleviate fluid buildup on his brain which caused a seizure, but he was reportedly responsive to family members Friday.

Staff writer Richard K. De Atley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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