LOS ANGELES (AP) — A savage beating by two men outside Dodger Stadium left a San Francisco Giants fan in a medically-induced coma as police on Saturday urged any witnesses to help identify the attackers.
The assault after Thursday's season opener between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the rival Giants left a 42-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz in critical but stable condition.
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Police released composite sketches of the two suspects, who were wearing Dodgers clothing.
Detective Larry Burcher said security cameras had yielded nothing of great value, but investigators were confident there were many witnesses with valuable information. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects.
The two suspects cursed and taunted three men in Giants gear as thousands of fans left the stadium after the 2-1 Dodger victory, Detective T.J. Moore said.
The Giants fans ran and two got away, but the assailants caught up to one in the parking lot, struck him on the back of the head and as he fell, he hit his head on the asphalt, Moore said.
Both attackers then kicked the victim, then ran, Moore said. They fled in a four-door sedan driven by a woman with a boy, Moore said.
The victim's friends returned and found him on the ground.
Police have not released his name, but friends and family told his hometown paper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, that his name was Bryan Stow, a married father of two who works for a San Jose ambulance company.
Family members were at County-USC Hospital, where doctors put him in a coma to deal with his brain injuries, according to City News Service.
Rebecca Mackowiak, Stow's co-worker at American Medical Response, started a fund to help pay his medical bills.
"He is a really friendly guy and easygoing," she told the Sentinel. "There's not one person in this world who knows him who would think of him as a fighter."
The Dodgers said they were co-operating with investigators and wished the victim a speedy recovery.
After offering the reward, Antonovich called for enhanced security and strict limits on alcohol sales at Dodger Stadium, which is owned by the team and regulated by Los Angeles and the state Alcohol Beverages Control Board.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt defended the organization, saying the violence was awful but that it can't always be stopped.
"I'm quite confident that all of our measures were in place, and it's just one of those things that you could have 2,000 policemen there and it's just not going to change that random act of violence. It's a sad, sad thing," McCourt said at the dedication of a Dodger-sponsored Little League field in South Los Angeles. "Let's keep in mind that opening day is 56,000 people, it's a lot of people, and the incidents we had relative to that were very, very few. But, that said, one is too many."
Southern California ballparks have seen violence in recent years. In April 2009, a man stabbed his friend in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the team's home opener. Arthur Alvarez said he acted in self-defense and was acquitted by a jury.
Two months later at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, an off-duty police officer shot and wounded two men who assaulted him in the parking lot after a game.
The West Coast rivalry began on April 18, 1958, the first game played in California after both teams had moved from New York. The Dodgers beat the Giants 6-5 in a game played before nearly 79,000 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
- L.A. Times: $10,000 reward offered in search of men who beat Giants fan in parking lot; fund established for victim
- NBC LA: Donation Fund Set Up for Giants Fan
- Santa Cruz Sentinel: Santa Cruz man beaten at Dodgers game, in critical condition
- Firegeezer: Beaten Santa Clara paramedic in medically induced coma