Dodger fans attack, critically injure Giants fan

Posted April 01, 2011, at 4:25 p.m.
Last modified April 01, 2011, at 8:27 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — Police believe many baseball fans witnessed a beating that left a San Francisco Giants fan critically injured after the season opening game at Dodger Stadium and they asked Friday for help in identifying the attackers.

Two men in Dodgers clothing were exchanging barbed comments with three men in Giants gear as thousands of baseball fans left the stadium after Thursday night’s 2-1 Dodger victory, Detective T.J. Moore said.

The Giants fans tried to distance themselves from their assailants, and two made it away from them, but one was struck with fists on the back of the head and as he fell, his head hit the ground in Parking Lot 2 on the third base side of the ballpark, Moore said.

Both attackers then kicked the victim, who suffered a head injury, and ran, Moore said. When the victim’s friends turned around to look for him, they saw him on the ground and made their way back to him.

Police paramedics on bicycles were the first to arrive to help the victim. An ambulance was called and the victim was taken to a nearby hospital, Moore said.

He remained in critical but stable condition Friday, the detective said. The victim has been identified, but his name was being withheld until police can talk to relatives, Moore said. Because his injuries were so severe, detectives had not yet talked to him, he said.

Investigators were reviewing footage to see if any security camera captured the attack, but Detective Larry Burcher said so far they’d found “nothing of great value.”

Moore said no one in the crowd had come forward with any cell phone or video camera footage.

“We’re very confident there were witnesses, it happened immediately following the game when everybody was coming out,” Burcher said.

But, Moore said, it was so crowded that 90 percent of the crowd may not have even known what was going on.

The Dodgers said they were cooperating with investigators and wished the victim a speedy recovery.

“It is extremely unfortunate that this incident took place on what was otherwise a great day at Dodgers Stadium for tens of thousands of fans,” the team said in a statement. “We’re committed to having the most fan and family friendly environment in baseball and will continue to make that a top priority.”

The stadium has been plagued by opening day violence in the past.

In April 2009, a man stabbed his friend in the stadium parking lot after the home opener, in which the Dodgers beat the Giants 11-1. Arthur Alvarez was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Alvarez, who contended that he was knocked to the ground and acted in self-defense, was later acquitted by a jury.

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