Reporting Dave Lopez
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — More evidence surfaced Wednesday suggesting that beating victim Bryan Stow encountered trouble with other fans inside Dodger Stadium prior to being beaten in the parking lot.
Early in the investigation it was known that Stow had send text messages to friends stating that he felt unsafe and that there was trouble brewing from where he was seated along the right-field foul line.
But now video tape shot at the game shows a confrontation that Stow may have instigated.
Juan Banda in his Dodgers jersey, depicted on cell-phone video release by TMZ, had a confrontation with Stow on opening day.
Detectives tracked him down, interviewed him at length and eliminated him as a suspect in the beating.
“Our investigators have informed us that he is not a suspect at this time,” said LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman.
TMZ also released a still photo showing Stow and his companions on opening day. Off to the side two individuals are apparently giving Stow an obscene gesture.
Sources confirmed that neither of them is Giovanni Ramirez, a suspect in the beating case. Ramirez does not appear in the photo at all.
TMZ also released text messages sent by Banda to a friend a few days ago in which Banda describes what happened that day. He said Stow was using foul language and that he “crossed over the line in trash talking.”
Investigators said that in no way does any of the new evidence change the scope of their investigation.
“Whether or not any of that is true or factual, nobody deserves what happened to Bryan Stow,” Lt. Neiman said.
The fact that Ramirez cannot be seen anywhere on that home video near Stow in the stadium means nothing, according to our sources.
We learned that several days ago at Dodger Stadium, at the scene of where Stow was beaten, detectives quietly reenacted the event, bringing in witnesses and positioning them where they were in the parking lot, according to sources not authorized to publicly speak about the investigation.
Detectives tried to make the reenactment as real as possible, bringing in someone to play the role of Stow, the two suspects and even a woman with a young child in a car, our sources said. The intent was to jar some memories and get some new leads, neither of which happened.
Every lead, fresh or old, is being checked and re-checked.
Ramirez is not going anywhere for at least 10 months. He will be sitting in a jail cell in a San Diego state prison on a parole violation.
Ramirez has yet to be charged in the beating of Stow and police are continuing to search for a second suspect and the woman who drove the getaway car.