Bryan Stow's relatives thank LAPD for arrest in Dodger Stadium attack

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AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Erin Collins, center, sister, Bonnie Stow, left, sister, and Ann Stow, right, mother of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, express thanks during a news conference at a hospital in San Francisco, Monday, May 23, 2011. Bryan Stow, 42, was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 31, 2011. A tip from a parole officer late last week led to the arrest Sunday of Giovanni Ramirez, 31, of Los Angeles in the attack.

LOS ANGELES - A day after police arrested a man in connection with an assault at Dodger Stadium, the victim's relatives expressed their gratitude to police. "We never gave up hope that this day would come; that the beginning of justice being served would happen,'' said Bryan Stow's sister, Erin Collins, outside the San Francisco hospital where her brother remains hospitalized. "We look forward to the day when the other suspects are apprehended as well.

"Bryan has a long road ahead of him, but we are thankful that this suspect is in custody, and is unable to do this to another family,'' said Collins, who was wearing an LAPD baseball cap.

Giovanni Ramirez, 31, of Los Angeles, was arrested at about 7:10 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of North Mariposa Avenue in the east Hollywood area. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon -- the foot he used to kick his victim -- and held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said Ramirez is believed to have been the primary aggressor in the severe beating of 42-year-old Santa Clara paramedic Bryan Stow in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on March 31.

Two other suspects -- a man sought for his involvement in the assault and a female thought to have been the getaway driver -- remain at large, police said.

Police notified the family of Ramirez's arrest about 45 minutes after he was taken into custody, Collins said.

Beck said Sunday the tip that resulted in Sunday morning's raid had been provided by a parole officer -- one of more than 630 leads pursued by more than 20 LAPD detectives who, to date, have worked on the case for more than 6,000 hours, 1,000 of them overtime hours.

Prosecutors were reviewing the case, according to the District Attorney's Office, which noted that Ramirez has two prior felony convictions and remains jailed on a parole hold.

``Because the Los Angeles Police Department continues to investigate the March 31 beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow, we have no further comment,'' according to a District Attorney's Office statement.

Ramirez had met with his parole agent for a mandatory check-in meeting shortly after the attack, and the agent noticed that he resembled one of two assailants pictured in police sketches of the suspects, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to The Times, the agent told police -- it was unclear exactly when -- and Ramirez was summoned back to the office for another meeting last week. That's when the agent noticed that Ramirez had recently added several tattoos, which covered part of his neck. Authorities believe he was trying to cover up an older tattoo, in case a witness had seen the tattoo and described it to police.

After the meeting, witnesses to the beating picked Ramirez from a selection of photos shown to them by detectives, and a surveillance team followed him around the clock from Friday until Sunday morning, when he was taken into custody, The Times reported.

LAPD officers with guns drawn used a bullhorn at a three-story apartment building to order the occupants of one unit to come out.

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 in a rough neighborhood less than three miles from Dodger Stadium.

Police said that, in addition to the suspect, at least one potential witness was taken into custody based on a search warrant issued for an undisclosed location. The suspect and witness were brought to the Northeast Community Police Station in Atwater Village for questioning.

``The attack on San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow shocked and saddened countless citizens across L.A. and beyond,'' Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Sunday.

``It touched the hearts of so many of us, and in the wake of this horrific tragedy, the city, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Dodger and Giants organizations worked closely together to find this individual, to ramp up security and to ensure the safety of all of our fans.''

At the Dodger Stadium news conference, Councilman Ed Reyes urged the two fugitive suspects in the case to turn themselves in.

``Save us a lot of grief and let's end this. The woman who was driving, you need to give yourself in. The other coward that did this, you need to give yourself in,'' he said.

Last week, Beck revealed that the woman driving the getaway car was wearing a Dodger jersey bearing Andre Ethier's number 16.

The suspects were described as being between 18 and 25 years of age with shaved heads, thin mustaches, and one also had a small goatee. The second suspect had numerous tattoos on his neck.

Stow was flown to San Francisco General Hospital last week after more than a month of treatment at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. His sister said Sunday he has stopped having seizures but has not regained consciousness, even though he is no longer in a coma.

He is still listed in critical condition.

Last week, Beck said the Dodgers donated an additional $100,000 to increase the reward in the case to $250,000. The Dodgers announced last month they had donated $25,000 to the reward fund.

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