2 New Suspects Arrested In Giants Fan Beating

July 21, 2011

NPR Staff and Wires

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that LA police have made two new arrests in the Dodger Stadium beating case, a development that could lead to the original suspect being exonerated.

Police arrested Giovanni Ramirez in May for the beating that left San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow near death. Stow suffered brain damage in the March 31 beating and is still in serious condition.

The Associated Press quoted an unnamed law enforcement official as saying if the district attorney's office files a case against the men, Ramirez will be exonerated.

Police were once convinced that Ramirez, a parolee, was responsible for the beating. But in June, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck transferred the investigation to the elite Robbery Homicide division. He said in an interview that the case was based "hugely on eyewitness accounts ... which can be hard to prove in court."

The LA Police Department would neither confirm nor deny the Los Angeles Times story. The department's official statement said "the investigation is continuing and we are making good progress."

One of Ramirez's attorneys, Jose Romero, suggested the defense team unearthed important evidence in the case.

"The police played hide and seek so we did our own digging," Romero said. "This is our golden nugget. He's been innocent from the beginning."

Another attorney, Tony Brooklier, told KNX-AM that the arrest was a "good faith mistake, that's all."

NPR's Ina Jaffe contributed to this report, which includes material from The Associated Press

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