Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Suspect in SF Giants fan beating in custody


Suspect in SF Giants fan beating in custody


Suspect in SF Giants fan beating in custody. Los Angeles police have released the name of a suspect in the Dodger Stadium beating of a San Francisco Giants fan two months ago.

Police said in a statement Sunday night that 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez of Los Angeles has been booked for assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $1 million bail.

Police say Ramirez was taken into custody early Sunday morning as detectives and SWAT team members working on a tip from a parole officer served a search warrant at an apartment building.

Chief Charlie Beck did not know if Ramirez had hired an attorney, and police released no further information on him.

Beck called Ramirez the "primary aggressor" in the March 31 beating by two men of Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic who remains in critical condition in a San Francisco Hospital.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A tip from a parole officer led to the arrest Sunday of the key suspect in the attack on a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium after the rival teams' season opener, a brutal beating that prompted an outpouring of support for the victim and outrage in the sports world and beyond.

The man detained in the early morning raid on an East Hollywood apartment building was believed to be the "primary aggressor" in the March 31 beating that left Bryan Stow with brain damage, Police Chief Charlie Beck said at an afternoon news conference at the stadium that included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Dodgers officials.

An emotional Beck hailed the work of 20 full-time detectives who he said have pursued more than 630 leads in the case so far. The police chief choked back tears as he described getting a call at 7 a.m. Sunday from Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.

"He said the words I've been waiting for for seven weeks. He said that we had Bryan's assault suspect in custody," Beck said. "This is a huge step."

The suspect was among several people detained for questioning after police served two search warrants, Los Angeles police Det. Jose Carillo said. Police said he was one of two suspects sought in the beating, along with a woman who drove them from the scene.

The suspect was expected to be booked Sunday night, and Beck said his name would be released then. He did not know if the man had hired an attorney.

It was unclear whether the others detained were possible witnesses or suspects. Police said in a statement that they anticipate releasing everyone but the main suspect.

Detectives and SWAT team members with two search warrants, loudspeakers and guns drawn conducted the raid in the department's Rampart District, which has traditionally been home to significant gang activity, though it has waned in recent years.

"When I went to bed last night I did so knowing that detectives from northeast and members from our swat team were going to serve warrants in Rampart," Beck said. "I knew those warrants were specific to Bryan Stow's assault."

Beck said the man who was detained had become familiar to many throughout Southern California as "Suspect 1" from the flyers and billboards with the suspects' sketches and descriptions.

They described the man as in his 20s with a bald head, goatee, and tattoos on his neck. Both men were wearing Dodger jerseys during the attack. Rewards totaling more than $200,000 have been offered for information leading to arrests.

Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two, was transferred to San Francisco General Hospital after he was initially treated at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, where doctors put him in a medically induced coma to help prevent seizures.

Last week, doctors in San Francisco reported that Stow has been able to open his eyes, but he remained in critical condition.

Stow's sister said police called her family Sunday morning to tell them about the detained suspect.

"I can't even tell you the emotions that we're going through right now," Bonnie Stow told KABC-TV. "To be excited is the least we can say."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said after hearing the news Sunday he called Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to express his thanks for authorities' efforts and to congratulate him.

Giants team officials also released a statement commending Los Angeles police and thanking "the community for its tremendous support for the Stow family during this difficult time."

Giants fan Les Wong, 37 of San Francisco celebrated the news as he headed to the game.
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