Thursday, April 7, 2011
Father: Bryan Stow is stable
A day after the father of the San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day said Bryan Stow is
"stable, and the vital signs ... they're looking good," the Los Angeles Police Department promised a "sea of blue" at the next Dodgers game.
Stow, 42, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, remains in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after two unidentified men wearing Dodgers clothing knocked him to the ground and kicked him on March 31. Witnesses told police the men were drunk. Stow suffered a severe skull fracture and bad bruising to his brain's frontal lobe. Doctors removed the left side of his skull to relieve pressure on his swollen brain.
"It's been very hard. It's been stressful," David Stow told 710 ESPN Radio's Drew Belzer at a vigil Wednesday for his son. "The rest of my family is here and we support each other. But when we go up to the room and see Bryan, you know, knowing him as we did ... he was an outgoing person, fun-loving, a jokester .. and to see him lying in bed like that ... it's hard. But you know, we think he's going to, he'll pull out of it."
David Stow said that his son's "temperature is down from what it was two days ago. It's a good sign."
Los Angeles officials scrambled to keep the incident from damaging the city's image and to prevent further outbreaks of violence between fans of the archrival Dodgers and Giants.
"It's an aberration," Councilman Ed Reyes said Thursday. "Dodger Stadium is part of our identity. We need to restore our confidence."
Police have asked the public for help in identifying the assailants.
Deputy Chief Jose Perez said the release of composite sketches of the suspects generated 80 leads that were being followed by a team of detectives.
"We have our best working on this," he said Thursday.
A reward for information leading to an arrest has grown to $150,000, with donors including the City Council, the Dodgers, Giants, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Stow's employer American Medical Response.
"I'm sure they'll be apprehended and what happens to them is up to the courts, how the officers handle it, and the [district attorney]," David Stow said Wednesday. "I'm sure they'll go to jail, they'll pay the price. But that's pretty much secondary to us."
Calling the incident an "absolute abomination," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday: "We are investigating this matter around the clock and take this horrific crime very, very seriously."
The mayor and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck held a news conference Thursday and vowed a bigger police presence at Dodgers games, starting with the next home game in a week against the Cardinals.
"You are going to see a sea of blue. And it's not going to be Dodger blue. It's gonna be LAPD blue," Beck said.
Beck asked the team to pay for the deployment of uniformed officers and was negotiating the amount with team officials.
Beck declined to estimate how much the extra personnel would cost or how many officers would be deployed but said he would spare no expense to ensure public safety at Dodger Stadium.
"Well, up until this incident, we try to let venues take care of their own security, you know, if they're unable to do that then I do it," Beck said. "And so, I will make decision about how many Los Angeles police officers are deployed in and around, and I emphasize around, Dodger Stadium, based on public safety needs."
Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said the club will cover the overtime costs.
"People will be awed by the response of the Los Angeles Police Department to this because we will not suffer this as a city again," Beck said. "People have a right to enjoy the American pastime and we are going to assure that right."
The Dodgers have also hired former LAPD Chief William Bratton to study lighting, alcohol sales and other security issues.
"That's a long-term fix that will hopefully allow me to back off some of the uniformed deployment," Beck said.
The move to retain Bratton came amid scrutiny of the Dodgers' security practices in light of the assault. In December, owner Frank McCourt fired Ray Maytorena, the former Secret Service agent who oversaw the team's security operations.
The Dodgers never replaced Maytorena after he was fired four months ago and entered this season without a full-time security chief for the first time since 2005, according to a Los Angeles Times report Wednesday. Rawitch denied that claim Thursday and said that the team hired Shahram Ariane, director of safety at the Claremont Colleges, as the interim head of stadium security in March. But Ariane -- who served as the head of stadium security for the Dodgers before Maytorena was hired in 2008 -- told the Times on Wednesday that he is simply working as a consultant for the team, that his full-time job is with Claremont and that he plans to work with the Dodgers only on a short-term basis.
Beck also said he was in favor of overturning a policy that bars off-duty officers from carrying guns when they attend games.
Wednesday's vigil was held outside the hospital in support of Bryan Stow and to decry violence.
"It makes me very happy to see [supporters]. They care," David Stow said. "They left their house to come out here for this vigil. I've said it before, it makes me proud that my son is thought of by so many people that they would come out and do this for him. I'm very proud of him, for being such a person."
He said that his son would have been right along with them.
"When he was growing up he was an altar boy. He lit candles, he carried candles," David Stow said. "If he was here, if it was somebody else in his position, he would feel so bad for them. He'd be praying for them, too."
The Giants, along with American Medical Response -- the company Bryan Stow worked for -- plan to collect donations for The Bryan Stow Fund at Monday's game against the Dodgers in San Francisco.
The Giants said Thursday they would contribute $10,000, while their community service organization -- the Giants Community Fund -- will hold a silent auction during the game to raise money.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne, ESPN The Magazine's Molly Knight and The Associated Press was used in this report.