LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The man once named the prime suspect in the near-fatal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow outside Dodger Stadium spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since his release.
Giovanni Ramirez, 31, was released Saturday from a San Diego prison after serving 10 months for violating his parole.
“It’s a big relief, to finally be out and back with my family,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez, dressed in a crisp white shirt, spoke to reporters surrounded by his defense team and his daughter.
A parolee, Ramirez was arrested May 22 in connection with the attack on Stow, a paramedic and father from Santa Clara. Stow was beaten into a coma in a Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day last summer and was hospitalized for months. He continues to recover in Northern California.
For weeks, as Ramirez’s family and attorney insisted police had targeted the wrong man, the LAPD continued to say Ramirez was their main suspect, although he was never charged with the beating. Ramirez was taken into custody at the time because he was found to be in violation of his parole because of a firearm found in the home where he was staying.
It was revealed Thursday that while Ramirez passed a lie detector test given to him by his defense team, he failed a polygraph with the LAPD.
In late July two other men, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, were arrested and charged in connection with the Stow beating. Ramirez was exonerated, but still had to serve out a 10-month sentence from his parole violation.
Ramirez confirmed that he has never been to Dodger Stadium and was not a baseball or sports fan.
“There was a point where I thought, this kind of stuff only happens in movies, you know what I mean? I just felt like, giant conspiracy,” Ramirez said. “I was doing everything that was supposed to be done to stay out of trouble, then bam, I get hit with this.”
Ramirez said he wished the best for Stow.
“My heart goes out to his family, everything that happened. I mean, even if they might have thought it was me at one point, I hold nothing against them,” he said. “My heart goes out to them and I wish them the best.”