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/ 23 Iyar, 5771
One Down, Two to Go
The good news: police have finally arrested a suspect in that tragic beating of Bryan Stow on opening day at Dodger Stadium. In case you're not that familiar with what transpired, or have forgotten, here is what happened that day according to the LAPD:
Stow was leaving Dodger Stadium along with several of his friends, following the conclusion of the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the San Francisco Giants baseball game. The two suspects, who were wearing Dodger attire, began taunting the victims because of their affiliation with the San Francisco Giants. As the victim and his friends attempted to walk away from the suspects, the victim was hit from behind and fell to the ground. The suspects then kicked the victim as he lay on the ground. The victim's friends attempted to intervene and they too were hit by the suspects. Stow suffered a severe skull fracture.
The two suspects were last seen leaving Parking Lot 2, driven away from the stadium by a woman in a light or white four-door sedan. It is believed that she was wearing a white Dodgers jersey with the name of Andre Ethier and the number 16 on the back. Both the woman and the second suspect involved in the attack on Stow are still at large, and detectives are asking the public to continue to provide any information that could lead to their arrest.
Let's hope these two slime balls will be located soon. What continues to irritate me, however, is that ever since this first happened back in March, the press has referred to this attack in terms of Giants vs. Dodgers. Come on, folks. This incident has nothing to do with Dodger/Giant rivalry and everything to do with the murderous gang element that has permeated Dodger games over the course of the last several years.
Can we please stop referring to Bryan as "Giant fan Bryan Stow?" The man was just a baseball fan who happened to be wearing a San Francisco Giants shirt. He wasn't beaten up because he was a Giants fan; he was beaten up because he had the misfortune to be in the vicinity of these lowlife gangbangers. He was literally at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The punk that was arrested is a parolee with known gang ties. His name is Giovanni Ramirez. He's 31 years old. Ramirez, a documented gang member, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held in a Los Angeles jail facility on $1 million bail. Ramirez's record includes robbery, assault, drugs, and firing a gun in public. He also was not living where he told his parole officer he was, according to the LA Times.
Charging this bum with attempted murder is not good enough as far as I'm concerned. If the definition of murder is the taking of a life, than this guy has absolutely committed murder. For all intents and purposes, Bryan Stow's life is gone. He has suffered extreme brain damage, he cannot move, he cannot breathe for himself, and God knows if he will ever be able to think normally again let alone hold his children in his arms. Doctors have said that he has recently begun to open his eyes, but his long-term recovery is far from certain. They don't even know if opening his eyes is something he is doing himself or if it is just a neurological reaction of the body. That's right; Bryan's life was taken from him.
This event has never been about team rivalry, it has never been about selling beer, it has never been about baseball. It is about the fact that Dodger Stadium has increasingly become a gathering spot for gang members. That is why Dodger attendance is down over 7,000 per game this year. The Dodgers are losing the family fans, the normal people who just want to spend a relaxing, happy time at the ballpark. Who wants to risk their life or the lives of their kids going to a baseball game?
The Dodger organization needs to re-think the way they've been promoting themselves. In the past I've seen ads on TV and on billboards around the city selling the Dodgers in gang-like terms. Dark images with players in hooded sweatshirts and looking mean. Who are they trying to attract? Once inside the stadium ear-blasting hip hop music and crazy strobe lighting competes with the game being played on the field. Who needs that distraction? Who wants that chaos?
No one enjoys a good baseball game more than I do, but Dodger Stadium will continue to be a spooky place to go to until they find a way to keep the gang element out of the ballpark.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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