Dodger Stadium fight: ‘You heard his skull hitting the concrete,’ witness says
A man who said he witnessed Friday night’s fight outside Dodger Stadium said that he saw one man rush up to another and punch him in the head, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the ground.
Sean Gould was walking out of the stadium with a friend when they saw a group of about a dozen people scuffling in a parking lot about 30 feet away, the 40-year-old told The Times. It looked like the fight was breaking up, Gould said, when one man punched the other.
“The guy who threw the punch came out of nowhere,” Gould said.
The man who was punched -- Gould guessed he was middle-aged -- was hit “so hard he was just knocked out immediately,” Gould said.
“You heard his skull hitting the concrete,” Gould said.
A woman came up and started kicking the man who was on the ground, Gould said, as the man who threw the punch yelled. Some people told the man to “get out of here,” Gould said. The pair then ran off.
Other people rushed to help the man on the ground, Gould said, using rally towels to wrap his head.
Los Angeles police said the man, whose name has not been released, was critically injured in the fight and remained in serious condition at a hospital.
The fight broke out about 10:30 p.m., after the Dodgers dropped the first game of the National League Division Series to the New York Mets, 3-1. The altercation began as a verbal confrontation and escalated, police said.
Detectives believe a mother and son were responsible for the assault, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday. The chief declined to say whether the victim or suspects were fans of rival teams.
“Everybody has to remember that we are preparing a case for prosecution when we catch these individuals -- and we will,” Beck told reporters. “It’s important to keep the record consistent.”
Police described the first suspect as a man 25 to 30 years old with light-colored hair and a medium build. The second suspect was described as a woman 40 to 50 years old with blonde hair and is about 5 feet, 3 inches tall.
The LAPD’s elite robbery-homicide detectives -- who typically handle high-profile or more complex cases -- are heading the investigation. Detectives went to interview the victim at the hospital on Tuesday, but weren’t able to speak with him, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. They hoped to interview the victim as soon as possible, he said.
Police said investigators had interviewed witnesses and also reviewed video that captured the assault. Beck urged anyone else who saw the confrontation to call the LAPD.
A spokesman for the Dodgers said the team had no comment Tuesday.
Friday’s fight recalled the brutal 2011 beating of Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was attacked in a Dodger Stadium parking lot after the opening day game.
Stow, a paramedic and father of two, suffered serious brain damage and remains severely impaired from the attack. Two men -- Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez -- later pleaded guilty to beating Stow and were sent to federal prison.
Stow sued the Dodgers and their former owner Frank McCourt, saying they were to blame for the attack because of insufficient security and lighting. A jury faulted the team, along with Sanchez and Norwood, and awarded Stow nearly $18 million.
The beating drew national attention and led to increased security at the stadium, including the presence of uniformed LAPD officers.
“Since Bryan Stow, we have enhanced the security at Dodger Stadium significantly,” Beck said Tuesday. “But it’s a big facility, and you can’t be everywhere all the time.”
Four people were arrested at Dodger Stadium on Friday and Saturday, the LAPD said, for alleged crimes including driving under the influence and resisting arrest.
Beck said that should the Dodgers and Mets return to Los Angeles for Game 5 of the National League Division Series, the LAPD would again ramp up security at the stadium.
“Particularly with the tensions between the teams right now and the fans, obviously there’s a significant amount of rivalry here. A lot is at stake,” he said. “We will be a presence.”
Gould said he has attended several Dodgers games in the four years since he’s lived in Los Angeles, even though he’s a Mets fan. He usually doesn’t run into any problems, he said.
But on Friday, he said, after the Mets won, some Dodgers fans began to heckle Gould and his friend as they walked out of the stadium wearing their Mets caps. He said he was shaken by what he saw later in the parking lot.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
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