The Dodgers organization says it is “pleased” that the two men who severely beat San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at a game in Los Angeles in 2011 were sentenced to prison Thursday after admitting guilt in the assault.
“We are pleased that the culpable parties have finally accepted responsibility for their actions and have been sentenced for their crimes,” the Dodgers said in a statement.
Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, both of Rialto, pleaded guilty Thursday to the attack. Norwood, 33, was sentenced to four years in prison. Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem in exchange for eight years in prison.
The Dodgers, though, still face a lawsuit filed by Stow and his family, which accuses the team’s management of not adequately protecting fans. The case is set to go to trial later this year.
In the statement, team officials said that “because of the pending civil action, the Dodgers decline to comment further on the matter.”
Stow’s relatives, meanwhile, said they were unimpressed with the sentences Sanchez and Norwood received.
“To say you got off easy is an understatement,” Stow’s sister, Erin Collins, said in court Thursday as she turned to face the Norwood and Sanchez at the defense table.
“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,” she said.
After family members made their statements, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli also had harsh words for the defendants.
“You don’t respect the rights of individuals,” he said, calling the attack in Lot 2 outside Dodger Stadium “absolutely vicious” and the defendants “complete cowards” for sucker-punching Stow and then kicking the paramedic repeatedly in the head and torso as he lay on the ground.
Stow’s ill-fated outing to Dodger Stadium came on opening day, March 31, 2011. He wore his Giants jersey that day, joined by several paramedic friends from the Bay Area. But once they were inside the stadium, witnesses in the case said, the group absorbed jeers and taunts from Dodgers fans.
Two Dodgers supporters -- later determined to have been drinking and smoking marijuana after the game -- accosted the Bay Area group with more insults, and witnesses said later that Stow retorted, to no one in particular: “I hope they code,” shorthand for cardiac arrest.
Sanchez and Norwood pursued Stow and his friends, witnesses said, though the out-of-towners made it clear they did not want a fight. The paramedic was standing with his hands at his sides when one of the attackers punched him, and witnesses described the sickening sound of Stow’s head cracking against the asphalt parking lot.
When Norwood and Sanchez, both of whom had prior felony convictions, were arrested in the case, investigators found numerous weapons in their possession and they were charged by the U.S. attorney’s office with being felons in possession of firearms. They still face additional sentences in that case.