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Doctor: Bryan Stow's blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit

Los Angeles Dodgers
Bryan Stow's blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit to drive, doctor testifies in Dodgers trial
Witness testifies in Dodgers civil trial that Stow was yelling with his arms up just before he was beaten

The doctor who oversaw lab tests on San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow the night of his attack at Dodger Stadium testified Wednesday that the beating victim’s blood-alcohol level could have been nearly twice the legal limit for driving.

Tests taken the night of March 31, 2011, showed that Stow’s blood-alcohol level was between 0.139% and 0.157%, said Dr. Michael Chan of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

According to earlier testimony, Stow consumed beer before the game, had an additional three to four during it and at one point became inebriated.

But Stow’s attorneys have argued that this has no bearing on the case. Although the state legal limit to drive is .08%, their client and his friends had taken a cab to the Dodgers game that day and were on their way to hail another one to get back to their hotel.

“There’s no legal limit on anybody if you’re not going to be driving a car,” attorney Thomas Girardi said in his opening statement three weeks ago.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Stow, who suffered severe brain injuries after being punched and kicked by two Dodgers fans, alleges that his attack resulted from inadequate security and lighting on opening day.

Defense attorneys have attempted to show that Stow was not without fault, zeroing in on testimony that he was intoxicated and instigated confrontations with Dodgers fans.

Jesus Hernandez, a parking lot witness, testified he saw Stow yelling at someone with his hands up as he left the stadium. “He was loud and he sounded mad,” Hernandez said.

He also said that the lighting in the parking lot was “normal” and good enough for him to make out Stow’s face at night.

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” it was him, Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he went to his car in Parking Lot 2 when he noticed people gathering around someone on the ground. It was Stow again, he said.

“You could see the white part of his eyes, they were just rolled back,” he testified.

During cross-examination, Hernandez said he did not hear what Stow had shouted and affirmed his earlier deposition in which he said Stow had not appeared threatening at the time.

Girardi also pressed Hernandez on his initial description to police that described Stow as wearing a gray Giants jersey and a hat. Girardi pointed out that Stow had not worn a hat that night and was wearing a black jersey.

An LAPD detective called as a witness last week by the plaintiffs said he had determined that Stow did not provoke anyone that night and that Hernandez had seen a different man raising his arms in the air.

Another witness testified Wednesday that Stow made a loud, crude remark during the game about Dodger Dogs.

Juan Banda said he sat near Stow and his friends, who could be heard making comments. “They would say funny stuff, we would all laugh. [It was] of good nature. It was nothing objectionable.”

But then Stow made his derogatory statement about the stadium's eponymous hot dog.

“I got up and approached him and I made a statement to him. I told him it was one thing to root for his team and another to be obnoxious and obscene and that he was crossing the line,” Banda testified. 

Banda said Stow did not respond, only motioned with his hands in a sign of passiveness. Banda said the Giants fan was so quiet throughout the rest of the game that he kept turning around to see if he was still there.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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