LOS ANGELES, May 23, 2011 (AFP) â€“ Los Angeles police detained several people for questioning and served search warrants Sunday as part of an investigation into the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants supporter at Dodger Stadium.
The beating took place March 31 after the Major League Baseball season opener between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giants in a parking lot outside the Dodgers’ home park, leaving 42-year-old Brian Stow in critical condition.
Stow, a paramedic, suffered brain damage in the attack by two men wearing Dodger-logo clothing. Stow was later moved to a San Francisco hospital.
Last week, doctors reported that Stow is able to open his eyes but remains in critical condition.
Police said a tip from a parole officer led to one man who is thought to be the “main aggressor” in the attack being taken into custody.
Los Angeles Police chief Charlie Beck, speaking at a press conference at Dodger Stadium, praised the work of 20 detectives who have pursued hundreds of leads in the case.
Beck choked up as he described receiving an early morning phone call 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.”
It was not immediately clear if others detained by police were suspects or possible witnesses.
The case drew national attention and a massive outpouring of support for Stow’s family from the baseball community and beyond.
Stow’s sister told a television interviewer that police called her family Sunday morning to inform them about the search warrants.
“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 that after hearing the news he called Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to voice his appreciation for the efforts of Los Angeles authorities.
“That sort of brutality is totally unacceptable,” Lee said. “It’s not only unacceptable, but needs to be dealt with. Our hearts are still open for a full recovery of Mr. Stow.” â–