Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Friend describes fan attack
A friend who was with the San Francisco Giants fan who was brutally beaten on Opening Day described a scene that went from "intimidating to hostile."
Appearing on the "Mason and Ireland" show Monday on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles, Corey Maciel said that approaching Dodger Stadium in Giants gear that day was not comfortable from the get-go.
"It was pretty hostile just walking up to the stadium -- it was intimidating, to say the least," he said. "There were a lot of Dodgers fans angry that we were there.
We got things thrown at us the whole time we were there -- peanuts, hot dogs, wrappers -- which we also expected."
But the hostility really escalated after the game.
"We were walking out and the mood definitely changed from intimidating to hostile once we got into the parking lot," Maciel said. "We were actually out there, we were saying great game, shaking some Dodgers fans hands. There were some that were yelling profanities, and just being rowdy. That's how it started.
"We were honestly just trying to get out of there with our heads down and our tails between our legs because it turned from intimidating to hostile and we were uncomfortable and wanted out of there."
Maciel said they had an initial encounter with the suspects.
"Bryan and I were walking, side-by-side, and talking, not even about the game, about work, I think," Maciel said. "Somebody pushed Bryan. This guy came out from behind the car and pushed Bryan into me. I grabbed Bryan and rolled away. We kept walking.
"Then, at that point my older brother Matt intercepted a punch on the cheek that was meant for Bryan, by the same guy that had pushed Bryan."
Maciel said that even then his group did not respond.
"We all kept walking. We didn't say anything," he said. "We just knew we needed to get out of there. We needed to avoid this confrontation. About five minutes later, they came up from behind us, and they caught us when we were all a little bit spread out. I never saw it coming. My other friend Jeff got hit in the mouth and Bryan got hit from behind. He got hit in the side of the head and never saw it coming.
"Honestly, I didn't want to get too detailed, but I think everybody should know that he was unconscious before he ever hit the ground."
Stow hit his head on the pavement and did not regain consciousness. He remains in a medically induced coma and has had part of his skull removed to take pressure off his brain.
From the time that Stow hit the ground to when paramedics arrived was "probably five minutes," Maciel said, adding that waiting like that "feels like hours."
Maciel still can't understand how a game got so out of hand.
"We were there at Dodger Stadium because we love the game of baseball," he said. "We love the Giants. We love the game -- I can't say any more than that.
"There's no need for an innocent person to end up in the hospital over something like this. There's never any reason to escalate this rivalry to violence, especially tonight."
Despite the experience, Maciel doesn't blame Dodgers fans, saying the attackers "were criminals."
And he doesn't want further violence.
"We're not looking for revenge," Maciel said.. "All that matters is that Bryan gets better and walks out of that hospital."
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne contributed to this report.