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Category: Dodger Stadium

Selig sends security task force to Dodger Stadium [Updated]

Photo: The LAPD is out in force at Dodger Stadium as a zero-tolerance policy gets underway. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times With the Dodgers opening their first homestand since the brutal attack on a San Francisco Giants fan in the stadium parking lot, Commissioner Bud Selig has dispatched a task force to Dodger Stadium to review security procedures there.

John McHale Jr., executive vice president of administration for Major League Baseball, is the leader of a six-man delegation that will remain on site through the weekend and report back to Selig. The delegation includes MLB experts in security and stadium operations.

In the wake of the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow, the Los Angeles Police Department has essentially taken over Dodger Stadium security in the short term, with the Dodgers footing the bill for the increased police presence. The Dodgers also have retained former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton to develop a long-term security plan.

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Dodgers cancel half-price alcohol promotion

Ghgjw2ke The Dodgers have cancelled plans to sell half-price alcohol at six games this season, their latest response to the parking lot attack that critically injured a San Francisco Giants fan on opening day.

The Dodgers had scheduled six weekday afternoon games this season in which food and drink, including alcohol, would be sold for half-price. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck asked last week that the team reconsider its alcohol policies, and county Supervisor Mike Antonovich on Tuesday urged the Dodgers to rescind the half-price promotion.

In a news release issued at 5 p.m. Wednesday, the day before the Dodgers return home, the team said that half-price alcohol was "no longer part" of the half-price food and drink promotion. The Dodgers did not say why, and the the news release made no mention of the opening-day beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow or the public uproar that apparently prompted the cancellation of the promotion.

The Dodgers also said that Beck would join owner Frank McCourt and former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton at a stadium news conference Thursday to "discuss additional security measures at Dodger Stadium." The Dodgers have retained Bratton as a security consultant, but Beck said last week he alone would determine how to upgrade stadium security and would bill the Dodgers for the cost. The Dodgers have agreed to pay.

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County supervisor wants to scrap alcohol promotion at Dodgers games

LAPD bringing anti-gang skills to Dodger Stadium

 -- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Dodger fans wait in long lines for food at at Dodger Stadium on July 31,2001. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

Whatever Frank McCourt's motivation, hiring of ex-police chief Bratton is still a chance to get security right

So, guess it turns out Frank McCourt isn’t so satisfied with the security at Dodger Stadium after all.

After a week of getting battered by politicians and the media for his failure to respond to the beating of a Giants fan in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, on Wednesday he hired ex-Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton to make suggestions on how to improve security in the stadium and its parking lots.

Hopefully, this proves an excellent move. Maybe Bratton will recognize the overall problem and make prudent recommendations that will actually be put into practice.

I suggest he go undercover and go sit in the stands, not just with the hoity-toity where McCourt hangs out, but down the lines, in the upper decks, in the pavilions where the profanity can be staggering and too often a general aggressiveness permeates what is supposed to be enjoyable family entertainment.

In the wake of the Bryan Stow’s beating, the type of comments from fans received here and to The Times’ T.J. Simers have been staggering. It paints a truly ugly scene.

Yet it took not only a tragic incident, but the ensuing backlash to get McCourt to react a week later. As Sons of Steve Garvey’s anonymous Orel noted, McCourt’s indecisiveness and conflicting comments only fueled the negative response.

For a guy who has gone through PR types like batting practice balls, it’s amazing how McCourt continues to have an almost innate knack for screwing up.

If there’s no public outcry, no media pressure, does he hire Bratton? Turns out he hasn’t had a full-time head of stadium security for four months.

It would seem many of the needed measures are obvious -- increased numbers of security in the stadium and in the parking lots before and after games; a more aggressive security force that doesn’t put up with unruly fan behavior; better lighting in the parking lots -- though Paul Oberjuerge offers some more radical ideas.

Bratton and his firm have been hired as a consultant, so it’s not like this is some permanent move. He is going to work immediately, which is as it should be. He’ll make his suggestions, then it’s up to McCourt.

Whatever the motivation, there is now an opportunity here and a chance to start getting it right.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Radio personality Tom Leykis adds $50,000 to reward for information on Dodger Stadium beating suspects

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Longtime radio host Tom Leykis said Thursday he was pledging $50,000 toward the reward for information on the suspects who attacked a San Francisco Giants fan in a Dodger Stadium parking lot last week.

Leykis' pledge increases the reward fund to at least $150,000, including $50,000 offered by the Los Angeles City Council and $25,000 by the Dodgers. Bryan Stow, the fan whose skull was fractured in the beating, remains in critical condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

In a telephone interview, Leykis called the incident "heartbreaking" and said he was "shocked" that the Dodgers offered $25,000, given that court papers filed in the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt showed the couple took $108 million in personal distributions from Dodgers revenues from 2004 to 2009.

"I want to offer double what the Dodgers are offering," Leykis said.

Leykis, who lives in Hollywood, said he has not attended a game at Dodger Stadium since the 2009 National League championship series, when he said he was "harassed by two drunks for eight innings, yelling obscenities about me and my show." He said security officials responded when he called them but "did absolutely nothing."

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' owner, initially described the attack on Stow as a "random act of violence" but said he was "quite confident that all of our security measures were in place." The Dodgers on Wednesday hired former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton to devise what the team called a "security blueprint" for the stadium and surrounding parking lots.

Leykis' radio show has been off the air since 2009. He is currently producing shows for Internet radio broadcasts.

"I have nothing to publicize. I'm not on the radio," he said. "I really care about the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium. They are so important to Los Angeles, and to our civic identity. They have been allowed to deteriorate. It's outrageous.

"My motivation for doing this is that I think I'm speaking for a lot of Dodger fans who see a disconnect between Frank McCourt and Los Angeles."

-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Dodgers fan Eric Amend holds a sign expressing his thoughts during a prayer vigil for Bryan Stow outside the USC Medical Center on Wednesday. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Associated Press.

Dodgers hire ex-Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton to consult on stadium security

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The Dodgers responded to the national fervor stemming from the beating of a Giants fan in the Dodger Stadium parking lot last week by hiring former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton on Thursday to assess their stadium security measures.

The Dodgers said Bratton will evaluate their policies and procedures related to security and fan services at Dodger Stadium. He is scheduled to work with the organization to develop a security blueprint for the stadium and parking lots.

Said Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in a statement; "Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America. There is no one better to lead a top-to-bottom review of our current practices and make recommendations to be implemented now and into the future."

Bratton is currently the chairman of Kroll Associates, an international risk consultant firm headquartered in New York. Bratton served as the LAPD’s chief for seven years, leaving in October of 2007.

The Dodgers said Bratton and his team would begin consulting immediately.

The Dodgers have received criticism for a slow response to the beating of Bryan Stow after their season opener last Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Stow, a 42-year-old Giants fan and father of two, was beaten by two men in the parking lot after the game. He remains in a medically induced coma. Doctors believe he has suffered brain damage.

Crime in Los Angeles dropped for six consecutive years under Bratton, though he received criticism for extensive travel.

Said Bratton in a statement: "I am pleased to have the opportunity to return to Los Angeles to consult with the Dodger organization on the security posture at Dodger Stadium. We will take a full and comprehensive look at security procedures and processes, and make recommendations based on our findings."

The team said Bratton and Kroll will also help develop internal procedures for the organization.

Said McCourt: "We are committed to ensuring that Dodger Stadium remains a family-friendly environment for all baseball fans."

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Frank McCourt's representatives call on commissioner's office

Dodgers offense can't keep pace in 7-5 loss to Rockies

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: William Bratton removes the stars from his uniform in  a symbolic move to signal the end of his tenure as Los Angeles police chief. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Searching for something positive to come from Giants fan's beating: A national call to end fan violence

So maybe I’m trying too hard. Maybe it’s one of those things where you want it to be so badly, you start to believe it can actually happen.

It’s hard to fight the thought of the savagely beaten Bryan Stow resting in his hospital bed, still in a medically induced coma and suffering brain damage. A 42-year-old father of two who wanted to take in the season opener of his world champion Giants, only to be beaten by a pair of thugs in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and left fighting for his life.

Difficult to find that positive light here, but just maybe Stow’s family pointed the way Tuesday in their emotional press conference at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

"We would like to use this as a rallying cry to stop unnecessary violence in our greatest pastime and all other sports, not only here but abroad,’’ said cousin John Stow, wearing a Giants cap and jersey. "So I ask for one last thing on behalf of Bryan — that we all enjoy a safe and competitive and exciting year of baseball.’’

Is it naïve to think Bryan Stow could prove a touchstone in turning around growing fan animosity? That from this tragedy a watershed moment could evolve?

Why not? Why not try to make it happen? Bryan Stow has become a national story. Why not try to make his tragedy a national movement?

It’s not like we have to all go back to the idealized ’50s. It wasn’t this way here in the ’90s. That hostility and unease you too often feel when entering Dodger Stadium. People could tease rival fans without concern. It was fun. It’s supposed to be fun.

"It’s just a baseball game,’’ said -- of all people -- Tommy Lasorda.

Stow’s family and friends have been magnanimous in their response to his beating.

Said sister Erin Collins to KCAL-9: "We don’t hold any of the people of Los Angeles responsible. We have no hard feelings toward you guys. We know it’s not the city as a whole, but just two people.

"Everyone here has been so kind and generous. Especially the Dodgers fans. We want them to go and root for their team and not let this mar how they feel about the game.’’

If his family can be this understanding, if they can step back and see a larger picture, can’t the rest of us?

"I would like to tell the Dodger fans, don’t be afraid to wear your Dodger colors in our town,’’ said John Stow to KCAL. "We love the rivalry. We welcome it and have always looked forward to it. We’ll keep it nice and civil and I expect our fans to show them a nice, safe, enjoyable time.’’

Stow’s beating has raised the national consciousness about the underlying hostility that is too often sensed at Dodger Stadium and other sports venues. And, just maybe, it has presented an opportunity to do something about it.

-- Steve Dilbeck

L.A. City Council doubles reward in Giants fan's beating to $100,000 as political pressure mounts

Outrage over the Giants fan attacked in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium after Thursday’s season opener continues to be felt.

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two suspects has grown to $100,000 after the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday afternoon to double the previous total.

The City Council’s pledge of $50,000 follows $25,000 offered by the Dodgers, $10,000 by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, $10,000 by the Giants and $5,000 by the American Medical Response.

AMR is the company that employs the 42-year-old victim, Bryan Stow, a father of two from Santa Cruz. He remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma.

The unprovoked attack is drawing a growing focus from politicians, which can’t be good for the Dodgers. On Monday, Antonovich asked for increased security around the stadium and more strict limits on alcohol sales.

"The Dodgers organization has an obligation to make security a top priority now," he said. "Denying that lack of security played a role in this attack is simply sticking their head in the sand."

Councilman Ed Reyes, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, called the incident a "black eye" on the city and also said the team needs to reassess its policies regarding alcohol sales and post-game security.

The Dodgers currently end alcohol sales after the seventh inning. Some teams extend sales until the eighth inning.

Councilman Dennis Zine, a former L.A. police officer who once worked at the notoriously rowdy Raiders games, suggested the Dodgers match the reward offered by the city.

"I hope the Dodgers will step forward and add to the reward," Zine said.

Meanwhile, the Giants have announced they will dedicate their first home game against the Dodgers on Monday to Stow. They plan to accept donations to help him and his family.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers offer $25,000 reward for information in beating case, bringing total to $50,000

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The Dodgers have offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the two suspects who beat a Giants fan in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after Thursday’s season opener.

The reward matches the previous amounts offered, bringing the total reward to $50,000. The Dodgers made their offer known Monday evening.

Bryan Stow, 42, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, remains in critical condition after the brutal beating. He is in a medically induced coma.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich had previously pledged $10,000, which was matched by the San Francisco Giants. American Medical Response, Stow’s employer, has pledged $5,000.

RELATED:

T.J. Simers: Dodgers can't ignore safety issue

Beating of Giants fan 'has no place in our society,' L.A., S.F. leaders say in joint statement

-- Steve Dilbeck

Sketch: Police drawings of the beating suspects in frame grab from KTLA. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

Four days later, where is the Dodgers' response to Giants fan being attacked?

The Dodgers took three-of-four from the World Series champion Giants during opening weekend, and it wasn’t the big story. It wasn’t even close.

That happened opening night, when a couple of thugs beat up a Giants fan and left him fighting for his life. The San Francisco Chronicle said the victim, Bryan Stow, who is in a medically induced coma, has had a portion of his skull removed to reduce swelling.

That this was a despicable, senseless act is pretty much a universal reaction.

Beyond that, though, the Dodgers have struggled mightily in their response. They’ve said little to nothing. Taken no action. Probably are misguidedly listening to some lawyer worried about an inevitable lawsuit.

Which is incredibly stupid. This is a time when Frank McCourt needs to step forward and not hide in the shadow of words and carefully written statements. Needs to be at the forefront. Needs to demonstrate he’s concerned, not just talk about it.

And you just don’t express concern and then proclaim how satisfied you are with Dodger Stadium security in the same breath.

"You could have 2,000 policemen there, and it's just not going to change that random act of violence," McCourt said.

Wrote Paul Oberjuerge: "Now there is a man out of touch. ... Frank doesn’t even grasp the depth of the problem."

McCourt has been rightfully pounded in the media for his financial maneuverings and so has taken to going into hiding from the media. The only time he talks is at charitable endeavors.

Which allows others to shape public opinion. And they’re not making him look good.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich is the guy offering a $10,000 reward? The Dodgers aren’t the ones jumping forward here? A fund is being set up in the victim’s hometown to cover medical expenses? The Dodgers haven’t leapt at this first?

[Updated 12:35 p.m. April 5: Monday evening the Dodgers announced they had offered a $25,000 reward. In addition to the $10,000 each offered by the Giants and Antonovich, plus $5,000 offered from Stow's American Medical Response, the total reward is now at $50,000.]

Some lawyer probably whispered that would imply guilt and not bode well in a lawsuit. Damn the lawsuit. It’s the right thing to do. It would show leadership and true concern.

McCourt stands to lose a lot more income down the road by losing nervous fans if he doesn’t seriously recognize and address this incident and the overall problem.

A joint statement by the Dodgers, Giants, et al, was fine but painfully obvious. A video in the eighth inning of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sitting with Giants and Dodgers fans asking they all get along, just swell.

That’s not going to solve the problem, or help Stow. The moment calls for action. A time to be proactive. It’s OK to say we want to do more and will.

Oberjuerge noted an English soccer match was once a dangerous place to be, but a comprehensive approach addressing the problem has largely made it disappear. If there are lessons to be learned, learn them.

A man is clinging to life. The Dodgers are looking impotent, rudderless, befuddled. It’s a time for more than words. A city and a sports community await.

-- Steve Dilbeck

$10,000 reward offered in search of men who beat Giants fan in parking lot; fund established for victim

While the Dodgers remain oddly restrained in their response to a Giants fan being critically beaten at their season opener Thursday, a $10,000 reward has been offered by Supervisor Mike Antonovich for information leading to an arrest and a fund has been established in Northern California to help the victim pay his medical bills.

Police have identified the victim as Bryan Stow, 42, a Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two. He was attacked in the Dodger Stadium parking lot by two unidentified men. Stow hit his head on the pavement during the attack and is in a medically induced coma.

"He's not doing too well," brother-in-law David Collins told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "He's still unconscious, and they just decided to put him in a medically induced coma. They are hoping the brain swelling will go down, but it hasn't, and they are talking about removing one of his frontal lobes."

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Stow’s paramedic partner, Rebecca Mackowiak, has started a fund at the CommonWealth Credit Union in San Jose.

"We take care of our family," Mackowiak said.

Police said Stow was one of three Giants fans attacked in the parking lot by the two unidentified men wearing Dodgers clothing. The apparently unprovoked attack occurred about 8:30 p.m. in Parking Lot 2 when two assailants approached three victims in Giants apparel.

The two men attacked the three victims, kicking and punching them and shouting expletives about the Giants as they delivered the blows, police said.

Meanwhile, a joint statement was issued Sunday by the mayors, police chiefs and team owners from both Los Angeles and San Francisco condemning the attack, that included:

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