LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police have arrested two new suspects in connection with the Bryan Stow beating and may reportedly exonerate Giovanni Ramirez, who has long been considered the prime suspect even though he hasn’t been formally charged.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press that two men were arrested Wednesday. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said that if charges are filed against the two men, Ramirez would be exonerated.
Bryan Stow was brutally beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day for apparently wearing a Giants jersey. He suffered extensive brain damage and remains hospitalized in serious condition.
Ramirez’s attorney, Anthony Brooklier, gave his first TV interview, following Thursday’s developments, to KCAL 9.
“I anticipated this day,” said Brooklier, adding, “It’s been a rollercoaster.”
The attorney said he tried to get in touch with Ramirez but that contacting in jail proved difficult.
When asked if Brooklier always believed in his client’s innocence he said he had some initial doubts.
“I wasn’t completely sold,” Brooklier said about his first reaction to Ramirez’s alibi.
However, the attorney stressed that he was won over by Ramirez’s sincerity and that his client offered to take a polygraph test and appear in a line-up.
“We were upfront and felt very confident that if we kept giving [the LAPD] information it would lead to his exoneration.”
Ramirez has not been charged in connection with the Bryan Stow beating, but has been jailed on a parole violation for possessing a firearm.
“I do think, in all candor, that all the attention that was paid to him about the Bryan Stow case had some effect on the hearing officer, who I think was under a lot of pressure to keep him in. I vehemently disagree with his decision. There was absolutely nothing to connect him to the firearm to which they determined he had access to.”
Legal analyst said Ramirez was kept as a prime suspect for this long because of eyewitness identification.
“It’s frequently an unreliable source of evidence,” said Meister, adding, “Yet, it’s turned to so frequently by law enforcement. Thank goodness, for Giovanni Ramirez, it was not relied on solely by the D.A.’s office.”
When asked whether exonerating Ramirez would discredit the eyewitnesses Meister said it’s a possibility.
“It doesn’t mean that eyewitnesses are necessarily lying. It’s just that it’s so easy to make a mistake,” Meister said.
Two of the key eyewitnesses in the Bryan Stow beating spoke exclusively to CBS2′s Stacey Butler, revealing that they were called back to the police station Thursday night to view a new line-up of suspects.
They said they weren’t able to identify any new suspects in the line-up.