The Dodgers logo is freshly painted on the grass behind home plate at Dodger… (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles…)
The Los Angeles Dodgers opening day was marred by violence when a San Francisco Giants fan was critically beaten in the stadium parking lot after the game.
Although the numbers of the arrests in and around Dodger Stadium declined compared to 2010's rowdy season debut, the assault left the 41-year-old fan hospitalized with his condition improving to serious Friday, police said. Los Angeles police detectives are searching for two Dodger fans in their 20s who were responsible for the brutal attack after the game.
"The man suffered a serious head injury during the assault after the game,'' said LAPD Sgt. Sanford Rosenberg, watch commander at the Northeast Station. Rosenberg said the victim was one of three Giants fans who were attacked in the parking lot by the two unidentified men wearing Dodgers clothing. The 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, Rosenberg said. The incident was witnessed by several fans, he said. The assailants fled as people tried to assist the injured man, he said. Police said the incident was captured on a security camera video and witnesses have provided details about the assailants, including a distinctive tattoo.
A Dodgers spokesman said the team is taking the incident seriously.
"It is extremely unfortunate that this incident took place on what was otherwise a great day at Dodger Stadium for tens of thousands of fans. We're committed to having the most fan- and family- friendly environment in baseball and will continue to make that a top priority," said Josh Rawitch, the Dodgers' vice president of communications. "We are cooperating fully with authorities during their investigation and we wish this fan a speedy recovery."
Because the Dodgers' opening day is known for heavy drinking and rowdy crowds, the LAPD was out in full force before and during the game to try to avoid a repeat of the unruly behavior of the past. "It was much quieter this year than previous years," said LAPD Capt. Dave Lindsay.
Opening day this year saw 72 people arrested by the LAPD, he said. Most of those arrests were related to intoxication or illegal consumption of alcohol, he said. Many of those arrests were done by citation and release with a court date, he said. In addition to those arrests, 48 citations were issued for various offenses, including traffic violations. But the number of overall offenses was markedly down from last year's opening day, when 132 people were arrested.