Dodger Stadium’s lax security and dim lighting created the conditions that led to the brutal beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by Stow’s family against the team and its owner, Frank McCourt.
Stow, a 42-year-old Santa Cruz medic and father of two, has been in a coma at Los Angeles and San Francisco hospitals since the March 31 Opening Day game, where his skull was broken by two men wearing Dodgers gear during an attack in the parking lot. It took 10 to 15 minutes for Dodgers staff to arrive and help Stow following the incident, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to cover Stow’s extensive medical care and compensation to support the future of his two children. It alleges that the ballpark has been the site of “more instances of criminal activity” than any other in Major League Baseball.
Thomas Girardi, an attorney for the Stow family, said McCourt’s lavish lifestyle and well-documented financial wrangling with his ex-wife contributed to a two-thirds reduction in security at the stadium since 2009, despite full knowledge of violent incidents and a gang presence.
“Bryan was earning a lot as a paramedic. He has two little kids, and now he has these massive medical problems,” Girardi said. “We want the Dodgers to pay for that.”
An attorney for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jerome M. Jackson, issued a statement saying McCourt and the team “have not wavered in their support of the Stow family,” but they will defend themselves in court against the allegations in the lawsuit.
Since the incident, the Dodgers have upped security with off-duty uniformed police in what the team billed as a “sea of blue.” Half-off beer specials have also been nixed. The Dodgers footed the family’s hotel bill for their seven-week stay in Los Angeles during Stow’s hospitalization there, and contributed most of the $250,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The lawsuit describes Dodgers fans intimidating Stow and his friends during the game, where ushers in the stadium aisles did nothing to stop it. Stow sent a text message to his cousin in the sixth inning that said he felt scared, and the suit says the group continued to be harassed on their way out of the stadium.
On Sunday, Los Angeles police arrested 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez — the suspect they’re calling the “primary aggressor” — in East Hollywood. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said Ramirez has not been formally charged, although he can be held in custody for longer than 48 hours because of a parole violation. An attorney for Ramirez on Tuesday said he was not at the game the day of the attack and is willing to take a polygraph test.
Bryan Stow’s cousin, John Stow, said on Tuesday that Bryan’s condition remains about the same — critical but stable. Girardi said the family has planned to repay much of the money that has been raised for the Bryan Stow fund over the past few months, although they will keep a scholarship donation for Stow’s children from former Giants slugger Barry Bonds because they felt it was special.
The Giants fan who was brutally beaten at Dodger Stadium received a surprise visit at the hospital from San Francisco reliever Jeremy Affeldt.
Affeldt said he shared a prayer with Bryan Stow and his family Tuesday. He introduced himself to Stow, held his hand and prayed for a speedy recovery.
Affeldt said Stow opened his eyes and seemed responsive. He presented Stow with a banner from the Giants and gave some team apparel to his family members.
Affeldt, along with Dodgers second baseman Jamey Carroll, had addressed fans shortly after the attack, saying violence has no place in the longtime baseball rivalry. — AP
The Stow family’s lawsuit against the Dodgers suggests security changes: