The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants fueled the dispute that led to a fatal stabbing near AT&T Park on Wednesday night, Police Chief Greg Suhr said Thursday.
Jonathan Denver, a 24-year-old apprentice plumber who was wearing Dodgers gear, was stabbed about 11:40 p.m. in the area of Third and Harrison streets, which is four blocks from the ballpark.
On Thursday evening, police announced that Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi had been charged with homicide. It's believed he made incriminating statements before his arrest, according to police.
Earlier Thursday, two suspects were in custody Thursday and more were being sought.
The suspects had not attended Wednesday's game, and only one of them was wearing Giants gear, a hat, Suhr said. They were visiting The City to go to a club before the dispute with the Dodgers fans.
Police have not said who started the fight.
"There was a back and forth about the Giant-Dodger rivalry" before the brawl broke out, Suhr said.
After the first fight, a second fight erupted nearby, and that was reportedly when Denver realized he'd been stabbed.
Denver, who worked at North Coast Plumbing, Heating and Sheet Metal Inc. in Fort Bragg, attended the game with his two brothers, father, his father's girlfriend and another man.
They stayed at the game until the eighth inning, then went for drinks at a bar near the ballpark, Suhr said.
The suspects had also been drinking prior to the dispute, Suhr said.
Police are asking anyone who might have footage of the incident to contact (415) 553-1146.
Denver was described by a coworker and his boss as a "good kid" with a "good sense of humor" who wasn't the type to get into fights.
The fatal stabbing occurred on the week that the Giants are holding fundraisers to support Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was brutally beaten into a coma after a game in Los Angeles in 2011. Stow is slowly recovering from the assault while two San Bernardino County men are in custody and awaiting trial in connection with his attack.
SFPD has been increase its presence at the stadium during games between the longtime rivals, Suhr said. Officers even dress in Dodgers gear to bust violent fans.
There is no place at these games for violence," Suhr said. "Nobody's life should be at stake."