SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Four people have been arrested on suspicion of felony assault in the beating of a Vikings fan outside Levi’s Stadium after the San Francisco 49ers’ 20-3 victory over Minnesota on Monday night, September 14, the Santa Clara Police department said.
Three men were charged on Tuesday with felony assault for their attack on a Minnesota Vikings fan after the season opening Monday Night Football game at Levi’s Stadium. The fourth person arrested was a juvenile teenage girl, who was cited and released to her parents.
The attack, during which the victim was repeatedly punched and kicked in the head even as he lay unconscious on the ground, was captured on a cell phone video. The video, which quickly went viral, and ticketing information helped police quickly identify the defendants.
Eric Martinez, 30, of San Jose, Felix Chavira Sr., 32, and Juan Arias, 33, both of Hollister, are charged with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Martinez and Chavira are alleged to have personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim. Arias faces an additional charge of misdemeanor battery on an 18-year-old security guard who tried to intervene.
Martinez, who has been in custody, faced arraignment in the Hall of Justice in San Jose. Arias and Chavira, who have bailed out, are scheduled to be arraigned on November 17. If convicted, Martinez and Chavira could face up to 7 years in prison. Arias could face up to 4 years.
“This is not a case revolving around football rivalry, it is a case of senseless and criminal violence,” prosecutor Carolyn Malinsky said. “It is a true credit to the Santa Clara Police Department that they so quickly identified and arrested the attackers.”
The altercation happened on that Monday night after the game at around 10:20 pm. The 35-year-old victim was exiting the stadium with the crowd at the end of the game. During a round of dueling sports banter, the victim was tackled and then assaulted by the suspects. The attack continued despite the efforts of a security guard, who was assaulted as well. The victim, who sought medical care, was later diagnosed with a concussion. The video of the beating, posted on YouTube, shows the man in a Vikings jersey getting punched and kicked by the suspects in 49ers jerseys. The yellow-jacketed security guard and other 49er fans eventually stopped the assault and helped the victim.
Following increased press coverage of attacks and fights occurring during football games at the Levi’s Stadium, the Santa Clara City Council has been discussing ending the sale of alcohol after the first half of a game to try to reduce the number of alcohol related offenses at the stadium. Currently the sale of alcohol ends after the third quarter.