Officials Suspect Others Attacked At L.A. Stadium
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men charged with the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium are suspected of assaulting three other Giants fans at the opening day game, a law enforcement official said Monday.
Detectives believe the other people were approached by suspects Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood on the west side of the stadium on March 31.
Eyewitnesses told police they saw Sanchez assault at least one of those unidentified men, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Sanchez has been charged with misdemeanor assault in connection with that incident. Detectives believe both he and Norwood were involved in the other possible assaults, but no charges have been filed.
Sanchez also is accused of misdemeanor battery on a woman at the game. The official said the woman was wearing a Giants shirt and Sanchez threw something at her during the game.
Sanchez and Norwood were charged Friday with felony mayhem and assault charges in the beating of Bryan Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz who remains hospitalized with a brain injury.
Sanchez, 29, and Norwood, 30, made their first court appearance Monday. Their arraignment was continued until Aug. 10.
The Los Angeles Police Department has asked other possible victims to come forward, but made no further public statements Monday about the case.
The defendants were arrested Thursday in Rialto, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles. Their capture led to the exoneration of Giovanni Ramirez, a man police previously labeled as the prime suspect.
Court documents state that Norwood and Sanchez each inflicted great bodily injury on Stow, “causing him to become comatose due to brain injury and to suffer paralysis.”
The mayhem count in the written complaint also alleged they “did cut and disable the tongue, and put out an eye,” but district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said that was legal language and that Stow had not had his eye or tongue taken out.
The case centers on incriminating statements the men have made, the official said.
Some people initially reported the suspects bragged about the incident to co-workers, though some are now backing off those statements, the official said.
Cell phone towers and photographs confirm that Norwood and Sanchez were at the game, the official said.
Attorney Gilbert Quinones, who represents Sanchez, acknowledged his client was at the stadium with his family but insisted he did not participate in the attack on Stow.
“He doesn’t fit the profile of someone who would commit this type of crime,” Quinones told reporters after his client appeared in court.
Quinones said he could not comment on the possibility of his client being involved in other assaults.
Norwood’s public defender, Lee Rosen, made an unsuccessful request for his client’s $500,000 bail to be reduced to $100,000. He did not immediately address the media.
Court documents state that police found five firearms, including an assault rifle, at Norwood’s home. The document also states that Sanchez told witnesses not to provide information about the beating.
Both suspects were kept in Los Angeles police custody over the weekend. They appeared in court in their civilian clothes and not the jailhouse jumpsuits usually worn by prisoners.
Norwood is an apprentice carpenter, and Sanchez works at a car auction house in Fontana.
The attack on Stow reverberated throughout California and the nation as police and the Dodgers, whose financial woes have also brought national attention, sought to ease fears about violence at the storied stadium.
Stow, the father of two children, appeared to mouth his last name and might have tried to give a thumbs-up, according to a family blog post last week.
Court records show Norwood was sentenced in 2006 to three years’ probation and served 118 days in jail after pleading guilty to one felony count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
In 2003, Sanchez pleaded guilty to one felony count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, and the following year he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.
Sanchez is due back in court Aug. 1 for a bail hearing.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)