Dodger Stadium. (Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles…)
A man was recovering Monday after a fight in a Dodger Stadium parking lot following Sunday's game, renewing questions about how quickly and effectively security responds once a game ends.
The fight began about 9 p.m. after a minor traffic accident. According to Los Angeles police, Arthur Morales, 30, knocked the victim to the ground while his pregnant girlfriend watched, stunned. At that point, Morales' friends got out of the vehicle and joined in.
"They held the victim down on the ground and ... the fourth one kicked and punched him in the head," LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said.
A witness flagged down off-duty LAPD officers working security at the game and they arrested Morales; Alan Trujillo, 29; Ulisis Briceno, 26; and Alejandro Briceno, 29, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
The unidentified victim was treated at a hospital for cuts and bruises. His girlfriend, who was not involved in the altercation, was also seen by doctors as a precaution.
The Dodgers released a statement saying the organization is "fully committed to providing a safe, family-friendly environment," and praising the police and security response for preventing the "confrontation from escalating further."
On opening day 2011, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally attacked by two men in one of the stadium's parking lots after the game. He suffered severe brain damage and continues to undergo rehabilitation.
The Stow incident led to a large increase in security, including uniformed and off-duty police officers at the stadium as well as a quicker, more aggressive response against unruly or intoxicated fans.
LAPD Capt. Bill Murphy said the arrests marked the first reported incident of violence at Dodger Stadium since the season opened.
"In a Dodger season there are 81 games, they will draw 3 million people and on any given day they can have a sellout with 56,000 people. I don't believe that any law enforcement agency or any professional sports team could guarantee there would never be any type of incident with those types of numbers," he said.
Murphy said the LAPD and Dodgers plan carefully to prevent trouble: "The philosophy is preventive action dealing with the problem up front, not later."