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Police chief is still confident LAPD has the right man in Dodger Stadium beating case

June 24, 2011 |  3:32 pm

LAPD chief is ‘absolutely’ confident police arrested right suspect in Bryan Stow beatingLos Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck on Friday reaffirmed his confidence that the man arrested on suspicion of brutally beating a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium is, in fact, culpable of the crime.  

Giovanni Ramirez, 31, was arrested in late May in the March 31 beating of Bryan Stow, who was left with brain damage and remains hospitalized in serious condition.

The decision to arrest Ramirez was made after some witnesses to the attack identified the gang member as one of the two assailants, police have said. 

Since then, however, detectives have been unable to convince prosecutors there is sufficient evidence against Ramirez to justify bringing  formal charges against him.  As the weeks have passed without criminal charges in the highly publicized case, Beck has been asked repeatedly whether he remains certain the right man is in custody.  He has said he remains confident that Ramirez eventually will face charges.

On Friday, a report aired on KFI-AM (640) radio seemed to indicate that Beck had backed off from his earlier assurances. The report quoted Beck as saying: "If it leads to a conviction, if it leads to exoneration, wherever it leads, we will follow the case."

In an interview with The Times, Beck said those comments were intended to be general and that his position on Ramirez had not changed. 

"Had I been speaking about this case, I would have said that I expect the investigation to lead to a conviction," he said, calling Ramirez "the main suspect" in the beating.  The investigation against Ramirez was "progressing," he said, but acknowledged "there is a lot of work to do."  He declined to detail the progress he said detectives have made in the case in recent weeks.

Detectives are not under an immediate deadline to complete their investigation. Ramirez was recently sent back to prison for 10 months after parole officials determined he had violated the terms of his release from an earlier conviction by having access to a handgun that was discovered in the apartment where he was arrested.

RELATED:

LAPD works to minimize damage from leak of photo

LAPD 'satisfied' after Dodger Stadium beating suspect appears in lineup

-- Joel Rubin

Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

Credit:  Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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