Calif. city leaders condemn baseball violence
Monday, April 4, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mayors and other leaders from Los Angeles and San Francisco on Sunday condemned violence among sports fans in the wake of an opening-day beating at Dodger Stadium that left a Giants fan in a medically induced coma.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, police chiefs and officials from both cities said the beating that two men in Dodger gear gave Bryan Stow was “unconscionable behavior that will not be tolerated in either city. Once apprehended, the attackers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Baseball is a family sport that has unified our country after times of crisis and tragedy,” said the statement, which was also signed by San Francisco police’s Interim Chief Jeff Godown, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, Giants managing partner Bill Neukom and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. “Public safety is the top priority for all of us and even one act of random violence is unacceptable.”
The officials praised the storied rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants, but said it needed to remain on the field.
“We call on our respective citizens to stand together in honor of that rivalry as you have done throughout the years. Root hard for your teams, and do so with civility and common decency,” they said.
They said their thoughts and prayers were with Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz who was badly beaten in a stadium parking lot Thursday night after a Dodger victory. Two other men with Stow were able to escape the attackers.
Doctors at County-USC Medical Center put Stow into a coma to help deal with his head injuries after the assault.
Police and hospital officials would give no information on his status Sunday, but Stow’s paramedic partner told his hometown newspaper there had been no change in his condition.
“It’s a waiting game,” Rebecca Mackowiak, of San Jose, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “We have to wait until the swelling goes down in the brain. It looks like it will be a while until that happens.”
Police have not announced any arrests or named any suspects.
Los Angeles detectives have released sketches of the assailants, described as Latino men between 18 and 25. They said the men fled the scene in a four-door sedan, driven by a woman, with a young boy inside.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests.