The man suspected in the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium on opening day was ordered today to spend 10 months in prison for violating his parole.
Giovanni Ramirez, 31, has not been charged in connection with the beating of Bryan Stow. But after a hearing at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, parole board Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam ruled Ramirez had access to a firearm when he was arrested May 22 in connection with the attack, in violation of his parole.
Police contend Ramirez was one of the men who assaulted Stow following the Dodgers' opening-day victory over the Giants on March 31. But despite Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck's insistence that investigators had the right man, they have not yet presented a case to the District Attorney's Office for consideration of possible charges.
During a June 3 parole hearing, a commissioner found "no probable cause" to hold Ramirez in connection with the Stow beating allegation. The commissioner did find there were grounds to keep him behind bars on unrelated issues -- including the weapons allegation, according to defense attorney J. Christopher Smith.
According to a parole board report, a weapon was found inside a laundry basket inside the east Hollywood apartment where he was arrested. A resident of the building told investigators Ramirez was living in an upstairs bedroom. The laundry basket was downstairs near a bathroom, according to the report.
Ramirez's attorneys contend there is no evidence showing that Ramirez knew the weapon was there.
"Essentially what happened was they ended up amending the charge to from `possession' of a firearm to `access' to a firearm," Smith told reporters
outside Men's Central Jail. "My issue is still regarding whether or not there was sufficient evidence indicating that Mr. Ramirez had any idea that this item (weapon) was inside the residence.
"The fight is not over. There's an appeal process that takes place. I likely will be submitting an informal decision review and after that a potential writ. So it's not over," Smith said.
Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic from Northern California, remains hospitalized with brain damage in San Francisco.
Witnesses to the assault told police the main attacker was bald, but defense attorneys claim Ramirez had a full head of hair at the time. Police were still searching for two more suspects -- another man who took part in the actual beating and a female getaway driver.
Ramirez, who police say is a documented gang member, has at least three prior felony convictions. According to police, he was convicted of attempted robbery in 1998, robbery in 1999 and firing a weapon in a public place in 2005.
Ramirez's attorneys insist their client was not at Dodger Stadium on opening day, but was babysitting his 10-year-old daughter that day.
The girl met with LAPD investigators and told detectives her father was never out of her sight for more than 20 minutes. The girl's mother added that Ramirez was not a sports fan and was unlikely to have gone to Dodger Stadium.