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Dodgers fan says he was beaten by security guards at stadium, sues team for $2 million

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Dodger Stadium.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles Dodgers fan filed a lawsuit seeking $2 million in damages against the baseball team Tuesday after he says he was roughed up by security guards during a game against the Miami Marlins last year.

Daniel Antunez, 31, was celebrating his birthday with friends at Dodger Stadium on April 24, 2018, when one of the women in his group accidentally spilled a beer on a fan sitting below her. The fan’s wife became upset and went to get security, who asked Antunez’s friend to leave, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Antunez decided to accompany her out of the stadium. He told security he needed to use the restroom as the group stood in the concourse area. When he began to walk away, the lawsuit alleges that three of the guards grabbed him and threw him to the ground. Seven other security personnel also joined in the melee, according to the suit.

Cellphone and surveillance video shows several guards grabbing Antunez while his friend yells: “Hey! He’s going to the restroom!”

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Antunez ended up with bruises and a fractured ankle in the scuffle. He eventually was handcuffed and taken from the stadium in a wheelchair. Several screws were implanted in his ankle to repair the break, his attorney, Peter diDonato, said Wednesday.

“It hurts him when it’s cold out or when he stands for a long period of time,” diDonato said. “It’s a permanent injury.”

A Dodgers official declined to comment on the lawsuit when reached by phone Wednesday.

According to diDonato, the attack was completely unprovoked, and his client did not commit a crime or behave aggressively in the stadium.

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Antunez is a Dodgers fan but now struggles with his affinity for the team.

“It’s one of the emotional issues he has because of this,” diDonato said.

Security at the stadium has faced increased scrutiny since last month when Rafael Reyna, 45, was assaulted in the parking lot following a six-hour game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Reyna, a Riverside County resident, fell into a coma after the beating.

Attorney David Lira, who is representing Reyna’s family, said the attack was “eerily similar” to the vicious beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at the same venue in 2011. Lira was a member of the legal team that won Stow an $18-million judgment from the Dodgers and his attackers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @Hannahnfry

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