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Bryan Stow tried to escape attackers, prosecutors allege

In a court filing, prosecutors say Giants fan Bryan Stow and his friends were pursued in the Dodger Stadium parking lot before the savage beating that left Stow with brain injuries.

August 01, 2011|By Jack Leonard and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
  • Gilbert Quinones, attorney for Louie Sanchez, one of two suspects accused of beating a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium, speaks to the media after a hearing in Los Angeles on Monday.
Gilbert Quinones, attorney for Louie Sanchez, one of two suspects accused… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow tried to escape a violent man attacking him and his friends outside Dodger Stadium, but his assailant pursued and assaulted him again, according to a court document filed Monday that provides new details about the beating that left Stow with serious brain injuries.

Prosecutors allege that Louie Sanchez shoved Stow and punched one of Stow's friends after the Dodgers' opening day game against the Giants. After the assault, Stow, who was dressed in a Giants shirt, continued to walk with his friends toward the edge of the stadium parking lot, with Sanchez and his friend, Marvin Norwood, in pursuit, prosecutors wrote.

Sanchez caught up with the group and punched another of Stow's friends, knocking him to the ground, the court document said. As Stow faced Norwood, Sanchez surprised him from behind and punched him in the side of the head, prosecutors allege.

Stow's friends told authorities that he immediately lost consciousness and fell sideways to the ground without breaking his fall.

"When Stow's head hit the ground, witnesses heard his head impact the concrete and saw it bounce," prosecutors wrote.

Sanchez is accused of kicking Stow several times in the head. Norwood also kicked Stow, prosecutors wrote, and stood over his body, asking: "Who else wants to fight?"

Prosecutors provided the detailed account while asking a judge to deny Sanchez's request to lower his $500,000 bail. Sanchez, 29, and Norwood, 30, face mayhem and assault charges in connection with the March 31 beating of Stow, a 42-year-old Santa Clara County paramedic who sustained a fractured skull and remains hospitalized. Sanchez also faces misdemeanor assault and battery charges involving two additional victims.

Meanwhile Monday, law enforcement sources said a key witness in the beating case has died suddenly, apparently of an allergic reaction to food. Matthew Lee, 26, who was one the two friends of Stow who were also assaulted, died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which may have caused the allergic reaction, the sources said. The coroner has not determined a cause of death, however.

It's unclear how Lee's death might affect the prosecution's case, but the sources said Lee was an important witness.

Sanchez's attorney, Gilbert Quinones, said last week that his client was at the game but not involved in the assault. He described Sanchez as a family man who has worked for years as a supervisor at an auto auction company. The lawyer did not return a call for comment on Monday.

Prosecutors portray Sanchez as out-of-control and unable to stay out of legal trouble.

They said his violent behavior at the baseball game began when he threw soda on a woman in the stadium. When the woman's male companion yelled back, Norwood had to restrain Sanchez from attacking the man, prosecutors wrote.

Sanchez is accused of running up to another group of young Giants fans after the game and swinging a fist at one of them.

Sanchez's criminal record stretches back to age 16, when he was arrested for obstructing or resisting a peace officer, the court filing said. He also has convictions for domestic violence, carrying a loaded firearm, drunk driving and evading police during a high-speed chase. He was eventually sent to state prison in February 2008 after violating his probation and was released about four months later.

"It is clear from the crimes charged and from his criminal history that defendant Sanchez is completely incapable of controlling his behavior or obeying court orders," wrote the prosecutors, Michele Hanisee and Frank Santoro.

When television stations broadcast news of the assault, Sanchez told his son, who also attended the game, not to tell anybody what had happened, the court filing said. In jail, while awaiting a lineup, Sanchez also told Norwood not to say anything, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said police recovered five firearms, including a Bushmaster AR-15 carbine rifle, during a search of Norwood's Rialto home. Norwood told police he was holding the guns for Sanchez because Sanchez could not keep them at his parents' home, where he was living. Sanchez claimed responsibility for the guns during jail conversations, which authorities monitored.

Los Angeles police detectives said Monday they were trying to find additional Giants fans from the Bay Area who may have been assaulted by the suspects.

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