McCourt satisfied with Dodger Stadium security despite ‘tragic’ beating of Giants fan
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Dodgers owner Frank McCourt called it ‘tragic’ that a San Francisco Giants fan was beaten and critically injured in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day, but McCourt said he was satisfied that the Dodgers have done everything they can to make the stadium as safe as possible.
‘You could have 2,000 policemen there, and it’s just not going to change that random act of violence,’ McCourt said Saturday.
The injured fan, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, is reportedly in a medically induced coma. The Giants players all signed a team jersey for him, and club President Larry Baer is expected to deliver it to the hospital.
McCourt said he had not personally reached out to the injured fan.
‘What we have done is that we have reviewed everything that has happened,’ McCourt said. ‘First of all, let me just say it’s tragic. It’s very, very unfair to take what was otherwise a fantastic day — everything from the weather to the result of the game to just the overall experience — and to have a few individuals mar that. It’s a terrible thing.
‘Any human being doing physical harm to another human being, words can’t describe how awful that is.... I’m not making any excuses whatsoever. It shouldn’t happen. I’m quite confident that all of our measures were in place.
‘You could have 2,000 policemen there, and it’s just not going to change that random act of violence.’
The suspects that attacked and beat the injured fan remain at large. However, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, 72 fans were arrested and another 48 were cited on opening day at Dodger Stadium.
‘One arrest is too many as far as I’m concerned,’ McCourt said. ‘I’ve got zero tolerance for poor behavior. Let’s keep in mind: It’s opening day. There’s 56,000 people. That’s a lot of people. The incidents we had relative to that were very few.
‘That said, one is too many. What I’m very, very satisfied with is that the people in the organization work extremely hard to provide a safe environment for our fans. Any breach of that, they take personally. It is very upsetting to them, because their job is to make this the safest venue in sports. They work hard at it 24-7. They really, really take this stuff to heart. They work really hard to establish the environment that we have promised our fans we will create.’
As he has in all of his recent public appearances, McCourt declined to explain how he plans to retain sole ownership of the Dodgers amid significant legal and financial obstacles. Lawyers representing him and his ex-wife, Jamie, are engaged in ongoing discussions to settle a divorce that has left ownership of the team uncertain.
‘I’ll comment on all that at the appropriate time,’ McCourt said.
McCourt spoke at the dedication of a youth baseball field at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in Los Angeles, a project on which the Dodgers partnered with the LA84 Foundation and the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks. McCourt reveled in the smiles of the kids playing ball all around him.
‘Best part of the job,’ he said.
He thought about it, then slightly amended his statement.
‘Winning the world championship,’ he said. ‘Next to that, this would be about as much fun as you could have.’
-- Bill Shaikin