SF Giants boost security for post-attack LA games

Posted April 11, 2011, at 9 p.m.
Last modified April 11, 2011, at 10:01 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants beefed up security Monday for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers after an attack at Dodger Stadium left a Giants fan in a medically induced coma.

Monday’s game at AT&T Park marks the first time the two teams have played in San Francisco since Bryan Stow was severely beaten by two men in Dodgers gear in a stadium parking lot on the opening day of the season.

Stow, 42, has been in critical condition in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles County-USC Hospital since the March 31 attack. No arrests have been made despite a $150,000 reward.

The Giants and San Francisco Police Department planned to increase the number of police officers on patrol both inside and outside the ballpark, officials said.

“We’re going to have a zero-tolerance policy on public intoxication and combative behaviors,” said San Francisco police spokesman Alvie Esparza. “We want fans to come to the ballpark and enjoy the game, but they have to do it in a civilized and respectful manner.”

Esparza said the police presence at the Giants-Dodgers series would be similar to that of last year’s World Series games.

Giants and police officials are encouraging fans to report any incidents of violence or unruliness in the stands through a text-messaging system ballpark security officials have set up.

Players from both the Giants and Dodgers were set to speak before a packed ballpark before first pitch.

The Giants planned to present former infielder Juan Uribe — now wearing the rival Dodger Blue — with his World Series ring from last year in a presentation on the field.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy hopes that gesture will provide a positive sign to fans about sportsmanship.

“We’re playing each other and we’re competitive and rivals but let’s leave it at that,” Bochy said. “Our thoughts are with Bryan Stow. This shouldn’t happen. We’re hoping to send a message tonight so it doesn’t become a bigger problem.”

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp he was saddened by what happened to Stow.

“That’s a terrible thing what happened to that man,” Kemp said. “It’s a rivalry but it’s not so serious to almost take somebody’s life. This guy is never going to be same again over wearing the wrong jersey.”

The Giants plan to dedicate Monday’s game to Stow, a paramedic. The team and Stow’s employer, American Medical Response, plan to collect money at the ballpark for a fund set up to help pay the paramedic’s medical bills.

In Los Angeles, baseball fans drove through Dodger Stadium on Monday, arriving in cars, on motorcycles and on bicycles to drop off cash, checks and good wishes for Stow’s family.

Hall of Fame Dodger Tommy Lasorda told reporters in the stadium parking lot that he prays that Stow — a father of two — will come out of the coma so he can resume his life.

“This young man someday, I hope and pray, can walk into a ballpark again and enjoy the game,” the 83-year-old said.

As police review what happened and make changes, Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich urged increased lighting in parking lots, increased security in the stands and parking lots, a stringent alcoholic beverage limit and possibly a reduction in cup size.

Michael Martin, a native of Los Angeles wearing a Brooklyn Dodger hat, stopped by to leave $100.

“I just wanted to show that Dodger fans are not like the two nuts that did this horrible thing. It’s OK to cheer and boo at the stadium but this is atrocious what they did to this Giants fan,” Martin said.

City Councilman Tom LaBonge said he would work with the city and county in an effort to make penalties more severe for “those who disrupt at public arenas, those who are idiots, those who are cowards, those who don’t belong.”

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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report.

 

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