A steady flow of cars, trucks and bikes pulled into a Dodgers Stadium parking lot Monday - not for a baseball game but to help a fan who'd gone to one last week. People contributed toward the medical bills of the San Francisco Giants fan two men brutally attacked at the season opener. The event offered one response to criticism that the Los Angeles Dodgers organization reacted to the incident too slowly.
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians in bright yellow jackets greeted Frances Salsameda as she drove up in a dark-colored sedan. The grandmother, who lives in Pico Rivera, dropped off two checks – one for $100 and another from her son for $50.
The money will go into a fund for Bryan Stow as he recovers from the beating two young men in Dodgers gear allegedly delivered in a stadium parking lot. Salsameda said the attack disgusted her.
"I'm Mexican-American like these hoodlums and that's not us," said Salsameda. "This is not about the race of these crazy individuals. No conscience, oh my God."
Stow sustained a severe brain injury. He's in a coma at L.A. County/USC Medical Center. The Bay Area paramedic was wearing Giants attire the day he was attacked.
Frank Viramontes of Whittier drove to the fundraiser on a Dodger-blue Harley Davidson that matched his bomber jacket. Viramontes pitched in $50 – and some criticism.
"It's actually an embarrassment to us what happened, and the fact that our owner is not stepping up and coming forth and contributing at least verbally or to the news media is real hurtful to us."
Scott White works with American Medical Response, the ambulance company that organized the charity drive-through with the L.A. Dodgers. He defended the team's efforts.
"I think we really don't know what the Dodgers have been doing behind the scenes and the Dodgers have been fantastic to work with co-sponsoring this event, so definitely no criticism from AMR about how the Dodgers have handled things."
At least a hundred volunteers, including paramedics like Bryan Stow, collected cash and checks in blue plastic bins. Some people donated a few dollars. Others donated more than a hundred.
Official Dodgers ambassador Tommy Lasorda contributed $5,000. During a press conference, the Baseball Hall of Fame manager thanked everyone who donated. Lasorda said he believes Stow will find justice.
“What those thugs did to him was a disgrace to them and their families," Lasorda said. "We’ll get them. We’ll find out who they are and they’re going to have to pay the price.”
Lasorda choked back tears as he thanked concerned fans who came to help.
"We appreciate it very, very much, and all I can say is that this young man someday, I hope and pray, could walk into a ballpark again and enjoy the game."
Organizers plan to set aside some of the day's proceeds for Stow's two children.
L.A. police continue to search for the attackers. The Dodgers, Giants and other organizations have posted at least $150,000 toward information leading to the suspects' arrests.