Duo pleads not guilty to stadium attack despite 'admissions'
LOS ANGELES – The two men accused of assaulting a San Francisco Giants’ fan on opening day at Dodger Stadium pleaded not guilty to all charges on Wednesday morning, The Associated Press reports.
Los Angeles prosecutors told the court that defendants Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood made incriminating statements to police once they were in custody, apparently regarding their involvement in the brutal attack of Brian Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz who attended the March 31 game with some friends. However, the defendants’ exact statements were not revealed in court.
“I would call them admissions,” said Deputy District Attorney Frank Santoro.
Stow is still listed in critical condition with brain damage at a San Francisco hospital.
Investigators said that Stow was the third Giants fan the defendants attacked that day. Statements from witnesses and other victims asserted that Stow, along with two friends, tried to escape the unprovoked assault, but were chased down by Sanchez and Norwood. A blow knocked Stow to the ground, and witnesses said they could hear the unconscious man’s head strike the concrete. He was then kicked repeatedly, allegedly by Sanchez, while Norwood is said to have stood over him saying, “Who else wants a fight?”
After the attack on Stow, prosecutors say both suspects got into a car reportedly driven by Sanchez’s sister, Dorene Sanchez, and drove away from the scene. Dorene Sanchez, who lived with Norwood, was arrested but has not been charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. She has testified before a grand jury.
The two men, who are both from the San Bernardino County city of Rialto, less than one hour’s drive from Dodger Stadium, remain in custody on $500,000 bail.
The suspects were tracked down first by various descriptions, then by zeroing in on the section where initial provocations occurred. Ticket purchases were then checked, leading police to Rialto where they arrested both men.
L.A. police’s elite Robbery Homicide Division conducted the investigation that led to the arrests.
In May, police arrested Giovanni Ramirez, who was initially suspected of the attacks because his parole officer noticed a distinctive tattoo that was attributed to Stow’s attackers.
Subsequent investigation, however, was unable to place Ramirez at Dodger Stadium on March 31, and there was no corroborating evidence to suggest he played a role. While exonerated of the attack, Ramirez remains in police custody for a parole violation.
Stow has been able to respond to commands to lift his arms and legs in recent days, according to his family.
On their website, the family said Stow has been “more alert and responsive” in the last week.
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