A lawyer for the family of a Riverside County man who has been hospitalized in a coma since being assaulted in the Dodger Stadium parking lot over the weekend said the incident was “eerily similar” to the vicious beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at the same venue on opening day in 2011.
The family of 45-year-old Rafael Reyna has hired civil rights and personal injury attorney Carl Douglas as well as attorney David Lira, a member of the team that won Stow an $18-million judgment from the Dodgers and his attackers.
Reyna was involved in a verbal dispute with another man before he was punched and fell and struck his head on the pavement in the stadium’s Lot 3, Douglas said.
Reyna was on a video phone call with his wife, Christel, when he was punched and Douglas said she described the sound of his head hitting the ground as similar to a “baseball bat hitting a ball.”
“The facts between this incident and the Stow case are eerily similar,” Lira said at a news conference Tuesday, adding that the parking lot has poor lighting and security.
Reyna, a father of four from Eastvale who installs heating and air-conditioning systems for a living, was injured in the altercation after midnight Saturday following the Dodgers’ six-hour game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
No arrests have been made and the cause of the fight remains under investigation, police said.
It was not known if the game was a factor in the fight. The suspect is described as a man in his 20s. Police said he may have driven off in a white SUV, possibly a Toyota 4Runner.
Douglas said Reyna’s family is encouraged by small signs of improvement but he is still in his coma in critical condition at L.A. County-USC Medical Center.
In a statement Tuesday, the Dodgers organization said it is committed to ensuring the safety of fans.
“It is unfortunate that a sudden altercation between two complete strangers resulted in one of them being injured,” the statement said. “Because this matter is still under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
Christel Reyna set up a GoFundMe account to collect donations to cover her husband’s medical expenses.
“He was the main source of income for our family and somehow someway we need to make it through this,” she wrote in her appeal for contributions. “I anticipate some tough roads ahead of us, but we believe in the power of our Lord to heal him and carry our family through.”
“I can’t believe that it’s been eight years since it happened to me that it’s happening again,” Stow told Bay Area TV station KTVU. “I feel totally sad for him and his family and angry about the people that did this to him.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.