Dodgers Hire Former LA Police Chief After Fan Severely Beaten in Stadium
Former Commissioner, NYPD, & Chief, LAPD William J. Bratton [AP]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
April 07, 2011
LOS ANGELES – While hundreds of people gathered for a prayer vigil outside County-USC Hospital in Los Angeles Wednesday night in support of Bryan Stow – the 41-year-old man who was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot March 31 – former L.A. police chief and former New York City police commissioner William Bratton has been hired by the Dodgers to assess the stadium security and make recommendations for improvement.
Stow, a paramedic from Santa Clara, remains in “critical but stable condition” and is in a medically-induced coma, according to Capt. David Lindsay of the Los Angeles Police Department. He was attacked after leaving the stadium on Opening Day for the Dodgers, who played the defending world champion Giants.
In a news conference Wednesday, Stow’s neurologist, Dr. Gabriel Zada, said that Stow has “a long recovery process” ahead of him after he suffered a fractured skull and trauma to the front lobe of his brain. The left side of his skull was removed to allow the swelling to subside.
The incident has outraged the city, with one L.A. county government source saying that attending a Dodgers home game has become “very, very scary” and that the incident has been a “huge PR snafu” for the franchise. Many L.A. civic officials had already been calling for better security around Dodger Stadium and more action by beleaguered team owner Frank McCourt, who is embroiled in a messy divorce with wife Jamie. Bratton’s hire seems to be one step toward quelling the anger.
“Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America,” Frank McCourt said. “There is no one better to lead a top-to-bottom review of our current practices and make recommendations to be implemented now and into the future.”
Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan beaten and now in a medically-induced coma, has the support of his family as well as the city of Los Angeles.
Michael Antonovich, a Los Angeles native who has been an L.A. County supervisor for 30 years, kicked off a campaign last Saturday to raise reward money to be awarded to anyone who helps identify the suspects.
According to his communications deputy Tony Bell, Antonovich was “incensed” by the incident. “For anyone to suggest that security at Dodger Stadium is adequate is simply putting their head in the sand,” Antonovich said.
The reward amount has since increased to “over $100,000” according to Capt. Lindsay, with donations coming from the city of L.A., the Dodgers, the Giants and American Medical Response, Stow’s employer.
According to an LAPD press release, Giants fan Stow was leaving Dodger Stadium with several friends when two Dodger-clad men taunted Stow and his friends. Stow was hit from behind, and then kicked while he was on the ground. Composite sketches of both suspects – described as male Hispanics between 18 and 25 – have been released.