LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Santa Cruz man remains in critical condition Friday evening, as well as a medically-induced coma, from a beating in a Dodger Stadium parking lot delivered by two men wearing Los Angeles Dodgers apparel following the team’s home opener yesterday.
Late Friday evening police held a press conference and released a composite sketch of two suspects in the case. One detective referred to the victim as “fighting for his life.”
The 41-year-old victim, identified by the Santa Cruz Sentinel as Bryan Stow, was leaving Dodger Stadium with friends, all wearing Giants apparel, around 8:25 p.m. Thursday when the two suspects started taunting them for being Giants fans, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department.
“As the victim and his friends attempted to walk away from the suspects, the victim was hit from behind and fell to the ground,” Herrera said. “The suspects then kicked the victim as he lay on the ground.”
One suspect was described as having “numerous” tattoos on his neck. A woman, with a child, may have also been with the two male suspects.
The victim’s friends tried to intervene but they too were hit by the suspects, Herrera said. The two men were last seen leaving parking Lot 2.
“He’s not doing too well,” brother-in-law David Collins told the Sentinel of the father of two who works as a paramedic.
“He’s still unconscious and they just decided to put him in a medically induced coma. They are hoping the brain swelling will go down, but it hasn’t and they are talking about removing one of his frontal lobes.”
Collins told the Santa Cruz Sentinel he hopes someone will come forward who saw the attack or captured it on a camera phone.
Stow suffered a head injury and was hospitalized in critical condition, according to Herrera and Collins. The other two victims were treated for minor injuries and released at the scene, Herrera said.
Police reached out to the public in hopes of finding the suspects, who were described only as male Latinos between 18 and 25 years old wearing Dodger clothing.
“We do have several leads we’re looking at,” Detective P.J. Morris told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “We’re going to stay on this as long as have to get it resolved. I hate for this to happen. People come down to our city to enjoy a game and something like this happens. It’s not right.”
Police urged anyone with information on the attack to call the LAPD’s Northeast Station at (213) 485-2563.
Josh Rawitch, the Dodgers vice president of communications, said “it is extremely unfortunate that this incident took place on what was otherwise a great day at Dodger Stadium for tens of thousands of fans.”
“We’re committed to having the most fan- and family-friendly environment in baseball and will continue to make that a top priority,” Rawitch said. “We are cooperating fully with authorities during their investigation and we wish this fan a speedy recovery.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters, “it’s a shame that someone is in critical condition because of a ballgame.”
“Let’s not get too serious about this,” Bochy said. “We’re having a lot of fun out here, we’re doing all we can to win, just like the Dodgers trying to beat us, but when it starts getting violent, then it’s getting out of hand.”
When asked if there was any stadium that concerned him, Bochy replied, “Now it does. It hadn’t really concerned me in the past.”
Herrera said 89 people were arrested and cited at Dodger Stadium Thursday, and 72 of those were related to public intoxication in stadium parking lots. There were 132 arrests at the 2010 opener. Police also issued 52 traffic citations, she said.
In 2005, the Dodgers increased security and instituted an 11-point Code of Conduct after fans in outfield seats littered the field with debris in response to the arrest of two teenage boys who had gone onto the outfield, causing a six-minute delay in play while paper cups and plastic water bottles were removed.
The Dodgers show a video each game with an explanation of the Code of Conduct.
At the Dodgers’ 2009 home opener, also against the Giants, a 30-year-old man was stabbed in a Dodger Stadium parking lot about 90 minutes after the game ended.
Arthur Anthony Alvarez was found not guilty of an assault with a deadly weapon charge after claiming self defense.
His attorney, Deputy Public Defender Kate Hardie, said her client had been knocked to the ground and that a bottle had been thrown at his car, but Alvarez “kept trying to make peace with him.”
Deputy District Attorney David Reinert said he also believed it was a “self-defense verdict” based on questions that jurors had asked before reaching their decision.
Donations for Bryan Stow and his family are now being accepted at banks and online.
Any bank listed at http://www.cuswirl.com also will accept donations, along with Common Wealth Central Credit Union. Both are under account No. 118881.
The following account is where to send your donation if you want to give through PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)