At the home he shares with his parents in Santa Clara, Bryan Stow does his best, but he still struggles to move his left arm and can barely close his hand.
He must wear a diaper, needs help to take a shower and has to be reminded why a plastic shunt juts from the base of his skull.
The members of Stow’s family, who addressed a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Thursday, wondered if the two men who attacked the paramedic and father of two outside Dodger Stadium in 2011 knew any of that, or cared.
Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez of Rialto pleaded guilty for the unprovoked attack that put the San Francisco Giants fan in the hospital nearly three years ago—a crime that temporarily depressed attendance at Dodger Stadium, shocked California’s two most prominent cities and provoked soul searching about a sports rivalry gone terribly out of bounds.
Norwood, 30, was sentenced to four years in prison by Judge George G. Lomeli after pleading guilty to assault causing great bodily injury. In exchange, a mayhem charge was dropped.
Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem in exchange for eight years in prison. He could have received 11 years in prison if convicted of the original charges.
The outcome offered, at best, a tiny measure of redemption to Stow’s relatives, who have been caring for him daily after he spent the first two years of his recovery in hospitals and a rehabilitation facility.
“To say you got off easy is an understatement,” said Erin Collins, sister of the 45-year-old Stow. “Because of you both, Bryan’s life was nearly taken from him and will never be the same. That also goes for his children, our parents, my sister and I, all of our family and Bryan’s friends.”
Lomeli offered a sharp rebuke of the defendants, particularly after watching Sanchez smile during the hearing. The judge called the defendant a “coward” and added: “You show no remorse whatsoever, no remorse to the family and that is also something that is also unfortunate.”
Stow was attacked as he and three other Giants fans, all Bay Area paramedics, walked through the parking lot after the Dodgers' opening day win against the Giants.
Witnesses at a preliminary hearing in 2012 described boorish, drunken and profane behavior by Sanchez against Giants fans. According to witnesses, Stow said he hoped that two men who had launched a verbal assault would "code,” paramedic slang for have a heart attack, and that one of the men, later identified as Sanchez, shoved Stow.
The paramedics took off to avoid a confrontation but a few minutes later the two assailants accosted Stow and his friends. Witnesses said Stow was sucker-punched, falling to the ground and fracturing his skull. Once on the ground, Stow was kicked in the ribs and head, they said.