Friday, June 3, 2011
Suspect in fan beating to stay in jail
LOS ANGELES -- A parole hearing official found no immediate evidence Friday linking a convicted felon to a beating that left a San Francisco Giants fan in a coma after a game at Dodger Stadium.
Giovanni Ramirez, who police believe led the March 31 attack on victim Bryan Stow, attended a closed, probable cause hearing to determine if he had violated the terms of his parole.
It was decided that Ramirez will remain jailed on an alleged parole violation involving a gun that is unrelated to the attack.
The ruling came after commissioner Ali Zarrinnam reviewed the police report in the beating case and other reports by parole officers.
"Nothing related to the Stow case whatsoever holds Mr. Ramirez in custody at this point," said attorney J. Christopher Smith, who represents Ramirez. "There wasn't sufficient evidence to show there was probable cause to charge him with assault."
Lawyers for Ramirez said he was not at Dodger Stadium on the day Stow was attacked. Ramirez was arrested on May 22.
Police detectives have said repeatedly they plan on filing a case with the district attorney's office, though they have been in no rush to do so while Ramirez remains in custody on the parole hold.
The lack of evidence tying Ramirez to the beating did not signal broader problems in the case because only a minimal amount of information would have been presented, said Luis Patino, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections.
Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French declined to comment Friday on the case.
The hearing officer did find there was evidence to support allegations that Ramirez was in possession of a firearm when he was arrested, Patino said.
Ramirez rejected an offer of a 12-month return to jail for the violation and instead said he wanted to go to a full parole revocation hearing June 20.
Ramirez was arrested following an intensive investigation into the attack on Stow by two men outside the stadium.
The 42-year-old paramedic remains in critical but stable condition under heavy sedation to prevent seizures caused by traumatic brain injury.
Police say they're still looking for a second attacker and a woman who drove the car carrying the men.
Court records show Ramirez has a violent criminal past that includes the 1999 attempted robbery of an elderly woman. In 2005, he was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon.
A police official has said Ramirez could possibly be a suspect in a Nevada case.
The official, who has close knowledge of the probe into the beating of Stow, told The Associated Press that Henderson police are looking at Ramirez as a possible suspect in a January attempted murder outside Las Vegas.
The official requested anonymity because the beating investigation is ongoing.