Suspect in Dodger Stadium assault held in jail

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 03, 2011 8:13 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An ex-convict arrested 12 days ago as a suspect in the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium was ordered on Friday to remain held as police continued to investigate the attack.

Giovanni Ramirez, 31, has yet to be formally charged with the March 31 assault. But a parole commissioner ruled during a closed-door hearing at a Los Angeles County jail that Ramirez stay in custody there for an alleged parole violation.

Giants fan Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two, was dressed in Giants apparel when he was attacked and beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium by two men wearing Dodgers gear after the season's Opening Day game.

The beating has left Stow in a coma and touched off a public furor in Los Angeles as residents and the media accused the team and city officials of failing to provide adequate security at the stadium.

Ramirez, who has two prior felony convictions, was taken into custody on May 22. But prosecutors have said he has not been charged because the case needs further investigation. Police said he was arrested on a tip from a parole officer.

Ramirez's family has said is innocent and was not at the stadium at the time of the beating.

After the hearing on Friday, Ramirez's attorney, J. Christopher Smith, told reporters the commissioner "found no probable cause" to hold his client for the stadium assault but that he remained jailed on other allegations.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has said he remains confident that detectives arrested the right man. Police continue to hunt for another man who took part in the assault and a woman who drove a car that sped away.

A spokesman for the California parole division could not be reached for comment.

The commissioner set another parole hearing for June 20.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Steve Gorman)