A couple who attended opening day at Dodger Stadium in 2011 testified Friday that they saw no security or ushers in their section and were intimidated by one of Bryan Stow’s attackers, who appeared intoxicated and threw soda and peanut shells at them.
Called to the stand in the civil case that accuses the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt of negligence in Stow’s beating, Griffith and Kathryn McDaniel said they felt uneasy throughout the entire game on March 31, 2011.
“I’d been to a number of Dodgers-Giants games at Dodger Stadium,” Griffith McDaniel testified. “This one felt different from the moment we walked into the stadium. I use the phrase ‘It was on,’ right when we walked in. You could tell there was a higher level of intensity between fans. I think a lot of it had to do that the Giants had just won the World Series the year before.”
According to the complaint filed on behalf of Stow and his two children, the Giants requested to relocate opening day that year to their home stadium to celebrate its previous victory. The Dodgers refused.
McDaniel was wearing a San Francisco Giants cap and a bright orange shirt that day while Kathryn sported a Giants T-shirt. They sat near the aisle of section 147. Stow was seated nearby.
The McDaniels said Louie Sanchez began tossing peanut shells at them during the second inning. Sanchez, they testified, appeared drunk and chanted profanities. At one point a fight broke out in another section.
Sanchez then mouthed something that appeared to be, “You’re next,” Griffith McDaniel said.
“Did you do anything to this man?” Stow’s attorney asked.
“Wore the wrong shirt.”
McDaniel added that he was certain he never saw any security in the area because “it was a little uncomfortable the whole time so you’re kind of looking around, hoping someone will take care of it.”
After Sanchez sprayed them with soda, the McDaniels said they wanted to get out of the stadium as fast as possible. Sanchez and Marvin Norwood pleaded guilty to Stow’s attack earlier this year.
When pressed by an attorney for the Dodgers as to why the McDaniels didn’t call or text a hotline number posted periodically on the Jumbotron, Griffith McDaniel said he saw the number once and never thought to write it down.
At the end of the game a woman offered to call security, but at that point Kathryn McDaniel said she was scared and wanted to leave.
“I just wanted to get us the heck out of there,” she said.
She said she never attempted to notify any Dodger personnel. “There was no one to report to, there was no one around.”
Griffith McDaniel testified that the security response at previous Dodger games had been better.
“I’ve seen people kicked out for a lot less than what we were dealing with that day,” he said.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times