Man charged in brutal attack on fan at Dodger Stadium last year

The assault took place in a Dodger Stadium parking lot.

The assault took place in a Dodger Stadium parking lot.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers had just lost to the Mets, 3-1, when Michael Rae Papayans’ mother yelled insults at a group of people, including a New York Mets fan, in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, authorities said.

Moments later, the 27-year-old from Palos Verdes allegedly punched one of the men in the head, causing him to hit his skull loudly on the pavement and lose consciousness.


Fan charged: In the Feb. 19 California section, an article about a man being charged in an attack last year at Dodger Stadium said Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten at the stadium in 2011, had won an $18-million lawsuit against the Dodgers and then-owner Frank McCourt. McCourt was not found liable in the case. —

Prosecutors said the man suffered serious injuries. And if that wasn’t enough, they said, Papayans’ mother literally kicked the 50-year-old when he was down.


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Papayans was charged Thursday with a felony count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury in the Oct. 9 attack, the L.A. County district attorney’s office said.

If convicted, Papayans could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

He is set to be arraigned March 11 in a downtown L.A. courtroom. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $60,000.

The assault occurred about at 10:30 p.m. after Papayans’ mother got into an argument with the victim, who has not been identified, and three others as they were headed to their car, according to the district attorney’s office.

Papayans’ mother yelled epithets at the victim and his friends, prosecutors said. As she shouted at the group, Papayans joined his mother in the argument and eventually punched the victim.

With the man on the ground, Papayans’ mother kicked him in the back, prosecutors said. Mother and son disappeared after the attack, they said.


At the time of the assault, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said detectives believed a mother and son were responsible for the assault. They had planned to interview the victims and review surveillance video of the attack.

Prosecutors said they referred the case involving Papayans’ mother, who has also not been identified, to the L.A. city attorney, who must decide whether to file misdemeanor charges against her.

Witness Sean Gould, 40, told the Los Angeles Times shortly after the attack that he and his friend saw a group of people fighting in the parking lot when a man threw a punch that “came out of nowhere.” The victim, he said, was knocked out immediately.

“You heard his skull hitting the concrete,” Gould said.

Other people quickly came to the victim’s aid and wrapped his head in towels.

The attack came more than four years after Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was assaulted in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the opening day game in 2011.

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Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez later pleaded guilty to beating the father of two from Santa Clara and were sentenced to federal prison. Stow, a paramedic, suffered brain damage and was left severely impaired by the attack.


Stow later won an $18-million lawsuit against the Dodgers and their former owner, Frank McCourt, arguing that the team was to blame for the beating because of insufficient security and lighting.

The attack led to increased presence of security and LAPD officers at the park.

Staff writer Kate Mather contributed to this report.

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