Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Updated: April 6, 8:49 AM ET
Doctors: Fan still in critical condition
ESPN.com news services
LOS ANGELES -- A San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten at Dodger Stadium after last week's opening game shows signs of brain damage and remains in critical condition, a doctor said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, detectives were looking into unconfirmed reports that the same suspects struck other Giants fans minutes before the attack that left Bryan Stow in a coma. And the reward for information leading to arrests climbed to $100,000 as both teams and Los Angeles city and county officials offered contributions.
Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two from Santa Cruz, remained in critical but guarded condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He suffered a severe skull fracture and bad bruising to his brain's frontal lobes, said Dr. Gabriel Zada, a neurosurgeon.
At one point, doctors had to remove the entire left side of his skull to ease pressure on his brain. The pressure is now normal but Stow remains in a coma from his injuries and from sedation to reduce his brain activity, Zada said.
"There is evidence of brain injury and dysfunction," Zada said.
It was too early to make a prognosis but such injuries can affect memory, thinking ability and even personality, Zada said.
"It's going to be a long recovery process," he said.
Stow was in a parking lot heading to a taxi stand after the Dodgers' 2-1 victory over the Giants on March 31 when two shaven-headed young men in Dodgers clothing began taunting and swearing at him and two other fans, who were all wearing Giants gear, police said.
Stow was punched in the back of the head. He fell down, bashing his head on the pavement, and was kicked before the attackers ran off.
They fled in a four-door sedan driven by a woman who had a boy with her, police said.
Composite sketches of the men have been released.
The reward for information leading to arrests doubled when the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to offer $50,000. That matched the total amount already committed by the Dodgers ($25,000), the Giants ($10,000), Los Angeles County supervisor Mike Antonovich ($10,000) and American Medical Response ($5,000), for which the victim works as a paramedic.
Investigators had several leads and some evidence that was recovered at the scene, Detective Jose Carrillo said. He did not provide details.
He estimated that out of some 40,000 people who streamed into the parking lot after the game, at least 100 probably were near enough to see the attack and he urged them to contact police. It was too dark for video surveillance camera to provide clear images, he said.
Investigators also were looking into unconfirmed reports that Stow's attackers punched three or four young men in Giants gear only minutes before Stow was assaulted, Carrillo said.
Stow, an enthusiastic Giants fan, was attending his first game at Dodger Stadium and had looked forward to the game all year, his first cousin, John Stow, said.
However, he may have had some worries after arriving.
"During the game, my wife received a text message from him ... He basically said he was scared inside the stadium," John Stow said, adding that his cousin did not usually make such comments lightly.
Stow's parents, two sisters and other relatives attended a news conference at the hospital.
John Stow, who wore a Giants hat and jersey, called the attackers thugs who should give themselves up and "have the courage to face the facts and face the book for what you've done here."
Family members also said they did not blame Dodgers fans for the attack and had received prayers and good wishes from locals and people as far away as England.
"Though this has been a terrible tragedy done by cowardly people, it is reassuring to know that good people are speaking out and are appalled," John Stow said.
"We have no animosity toward the people of Los Angeles. We've been received with open arms and love," said a sister, Erin Collins.
Of the attackers, she said: "They weren't true Dodger fans."
Also Tuesday, the Giants announced plans to honor Stow by dedicating Monday's game against the Dodgers in San Francisco to the injured man. The Giants will collect donations from fans during the game to benefit Stow and his family. Also, proceeds from a silent auction scheduled for that day will benefit the fund.
Additionally, on Friday during the Giants' first home game of the season, the team will pay tribute to Stow in a special ceremony before the contest.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson and The Associated Press was used in this report.