A suspect was arrested Sunday morning at an East Hollywood apartment complex for involvement in the brutal beating of Bryan Stow outside Dodger Stadium, police said today and the Los Angeles Times initially reported. After refusing to identify the suspect at an afternoon news conference, police identified him as 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez, "Suspect 1" on the billboards and fliers that have been circulating in the city since the March 31 beating.
Ramirez was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and held on $1 million bail, the Times reported.
"Suspect 1," LA Police Chief Charlie Beck said, is believed by police to be the "primary aggressor" in the incident. Police are still seeking two other suspects.
The 42-year-old Stow was walking through the stadium parking lot with friends after the Dodger opening day victory over San Francisco on March 31 when he was assaulted. Stow was wearing Giants apparel, police said, and two young men began taunting him. One of the assailants then hit Stow with blows to the back and head, police said. Stow was left with brain damage, and though his family reported he has opened his eyes, he remains in critical condition in a San Francisco hospital.
According to the Times, which is quoting unnamed police sources, a Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team served a warrant at the building around 7 a.m. this morning. The Times reports that the building manager said police used loudspeakers, with guns drawn, to call out the occupants of Apartment 25 in the building. The three people inside the apartment, including a bald man who matched the description of one of the attackers, appeared to go without a fight, witnesses told the Times.
Police also towed away a black Honda Civic from the apartment complex, on Mariposa Avenue just south of an onramp to the Hollywood (101) Freeway, reported City News Service. All who were detained were brought to the Northeast Community Police Station in Atwater Village. A tip from a parole agent led police to make the arrest.
Stow's sister, Bonnie Stow, told ABC7 that LA police told her of the arrest shortly after it happened.
"I can't even tell you the emotions that we are going through right now,'' Bonnie Stow said.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the officials who police said have spent thousands of man hours trying to crack the case.
Hundreds of billboards with sketches of the suspects have been up all over LA during the past weeks. Various organizations, including the LA Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, have been offering rewards totaling near $200,000 for information that led to the arrest of the alleged attackers. Police have also been looking for a woman who was allegedly the driver of the getaway car.
"Make your life less complicated, turn yourself in," said LA Councilman Ed Reyes at the news conference.