By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Bay Area paramedic severely beaten at Dodger Stadium, was attacked after he used medical slang to express disgust with local fans taunting his group of San Francisco Giants supporters, according to testimony Wednesday.
A friend and fellow paramedic quoted Stow as saying “I hope they code” — shorthand for suffering cardiac arrest — of Los Angeles Dodger fans profanely jeering him and three friends as they left the Opening Day game last year.
“His voice was raised, but he wasn’t looking at anyone or directing it at anyone,” recalled witness Corey Maciel.
Testifying before a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who will decide whether two men will be tried for the assault, Maciel offered the closest view yet of the brutal confrontation that left Stow with permanent brain damage and the Dodgers with a tarnished reputation.
He said that Stow made the “code” comment after their group had endured hours of heckling and thrown food inside the stadium and that it brought a swift reaction from a man in a Dodger jersey.
“What … did you say, homie?” Maciel said the man demanded before shoving Stow. He said his group of friends already had “our tails between our legs” and didn’t respond to the man.
“We were just trying to get away,” Maciel recalled.
A few minutes later, the same man and a companion accosted them deeper into the parking lot. He said the second men distracted Stow while the first blindsided him with “a long, sweeping haymaker” that sent him to the ground.
“I watched the back of his head bounce off the concrete and I heard the crack as it happened,” Maciel said. He said that as he rushed to help, one of the men kicked Stow in the ribs while the other kicked him in the head.
“Not just little kicks. These were whole, wind-up, hard-as-you-can kicks,” Maciel said. Stow has not been able to walk or carry on a conversation since the attack.
A second witness, a woman who saw part of the incident from her car, testified that Stow appeared to be trying to avert a fight.
“Leave us alone. It’s just a game. We are going home,” Monique Gonzalez quoted him as saying just before he was hit.
Two neighbors from Rialto, Louie Sanchez, 30, and Marvin Norwood, 31, have pleaded not guilty to assault and other felonies. None of the eyewitnesses in four days of testimony were able to positively identify the man who punched Stow. The parking lot was dark, several witnesses had been drinking, and many present were dressed in similar Dodgers shirts.
In a recording of a 911 call played for the judge Wednesday, Maciel remarked to a dispatcher: “It was a Dodger fan in a Dodger jersey. There’s no way to identify him.”
The prosecution’s case against the men is expected to strengthen considerably Thursday when Sanchez’s sister takes the stand. Dorene Sanchez drove the men away from the game and testified last summer before a grand jury investigating the case.