Southern California breaking news and trends

Explainer: How hard do you have to hit someone to get charged with assault?

Richard North

Last baseball season, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten outside Dodger Stadium, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and, over a year later, still recuperating. 

Last week, a fight outside Dodger Stadium sent one man to the hospital (he was soon after released). Four were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

In the Stow case, attackers were charged with felony assault and, more recently after police raided their home, federal weapons charges. In the second case, though originally arrested for assault, the assailants will not face felony charges. As of Tuesday, attorneys in the City Attorney's Office are still reviewing the case to see if the assailants can be charged with misdemeanor battery. What's the difference?

According to Loyola Law Professor Stan Goldman, who specializes in criminal law and procedure, it's pretty much a judgment call on the part of the prosecutor. But the choice generally comes down to how much damage was done and how much damage could have been done.


Downtown LA football stadium deal on the rocks, Yahoo! Sports reports

Gov. Brown To Sign Football Stadium Bill

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (R) passes a Farmers Field football to State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, (D-Sacramento) during an event where Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills at the site of a proposed new stadium. Sources told Yahoo! Sports that Villaraigosa requested a meeting on Dec. 18 between the NFL and AEG, hoping billionaire developer Phil Anschutz would show more interest in the stadium.

Unnamed sources have told Yahoo! Sports that Anschutz Entertainment Group, the developer that plans to build the downtown sports arena, has shown no interest in compromise while negotiating terms of a deal with the National Football League. A deal would bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, but the league is sticking to its position in the negotiations, according to Yahoo's sources.

“It was friendly, but boiled down to the view that no NFL owner would accept the terms proposed," a source told Yahoo! Sports. "If [AEG] wanted to get that much control over an NFL franchise, their only option would be to buy a team. If they were willing to back off the control and buy a [limited partnership] stake for a reasonable price, then a shared interest in selling suites/clubs/sponsorships could be worked out.”