LA chief confident in beating arrest

Updated: May 26, 2011, 11:20 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles' police chief expressed confidence Thursday that his investigators have arrested the right person as the prime suspect in the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, but he said a case won't be presented to prosecutors until there is an "abundance" of evidence.

The arrest of Giovanni Ramirez, 31, came weeks after the beating, and nearly a week has passed with no charges filed.

Police chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference he "absolutely" believes he has the right man.

There are standards for arrest in this state. We have met that standard, we have exceeded that standard. We have met the standard for obtaining search warrants based on information that we have that has not been made public.

-- L.A. police chief Charlie Beck

"I am as sure as you need to be to make an arrest and to pursue a prosecution," he said.

"There are standards for arrest in this state. We have met that standard, we have exceeded that standard. We have met the standard for obtaining search warrants based on information that we have that has not been made public," he said.

Bryan Stow, 42, wore Giants attire to the season opening game between San Francisco and Los Angeles and was beaten into a coma in an attack in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the game. Police said Stow was attacked by two men who fled in a car driven by a woman.

Police still are looking for the woman and the second attacker.

The beating shocked Los Angeles and triggered an outpouring of aid to the victim and donations to a reward fund. It also prompted a billboard campaign showing sketches of the two assailants. The police department launched a major beef-up of security measures at Dodgers games.

Beck said police wouldn't go to the district attorney's office until they make the "best case possible."

He said an identification lineup Wednesday went well and "added to our group of evidence."

"Giovanni Ramirez is and was and has been our primary suspect on the Stow beating," the police chief said. "We continue down that road in our preparation of presenting a case to the district attorney in the near future. But we will not present that case until we have an abundance of evidence, until we have looked at a number of things that are still being examined."

Ramirez was arrested at his Hollywood home Sunday following a tip from his parole officer.

Attorneys for Ramirez and his family have denied he was even at the ball game and have said his 10-year-old daughter will testify to that effect. Deputy chief Jose Perez, speaking after Beck at the news conference, declined to comment on the alibi.

Ramirez remained in custody on a parole hold stemming from a prior conviction for being a felon in possession of a gun, Los Angeles County district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

Beck said scores of detectives remain devoted to the case, more than 700 clues have been provided by the public, tips are still being solicited, and there is a $250,000 reward being offered.

Stow, a paramedic and father of two, was wearing an orange Giants jersey when he was taunted, knocked to the ground and kicked after the March 31 game. He recently was moved from a Los Angeles hospital to the San Francisco area, where he is hospitalized in critical but stable condition under heavy sedation to prevent seizures caused by a brain injury.

Stow's family has sued Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, contending the Dodgers were negligent by not providing more security and not having adequate lighting in the parking lot where the incident occurred. Dodgers attorney Jerome M. Jackson said the organization has been steadfast in its support for Stow and investigators, but would defend itself against the allegations.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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