Friday, July 22, 2011

GIovanni Ramirez Turns Out Not To Be Stow Suspect, After All; Attention Now Turns To Two Other Guys

Confirming doubts we had voiced from the start, when the initial capture seemed eerily convenient, the LAPD's very public allegations charging Giovanni Ramirez were suddenly dropped yesterday, as the LAPD exonerated Ramirez of those charges and now have turned their attention to two new recently-arrested suspects:

Los Angeles police Thursday arrested two men in connection with the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium and have concluded that the suspect they took into custody in May was not involved in the attack, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.

Police officials refused to publicly release details about the dramatic turn of events in the case, which has attracted international attention and placed city and Dodger officials under intense pressure to reassure fans it is safe to attend games at the storied venue in Chavez Ravine.

The conclusion that Giovanni Ramirez, 31, is not responsible for the March 31 assault in the stadium parking lot on Bryan Stow, 42, a Santa Clara County paramedic, raises serious questions about the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation and why Police Chief Charlie Beck has repeatedly expressed confidence that Ramirez was the primary culprit.

"Obviously, we're going to need to get an explanation," said Matt Szabo, a senior aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The mayor and Beck trumpeted the capture of Ramirez at a news conference on the day he was taken into custody.

That explanation came yesterday from the mayor himself, who has now concluded that it's really difficult, after all, this law enforcement thing:

Mayor Antonio Villariagosa has defended the way the Los Angeles Police Department handled the case of Bryan Stow, the Dodger Stadium beating victim.

Law-enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that police have arrested two men in connection with the Dodger Stadium beating and concluded that the suspect they took into custody in May, Giovanni Ramirez, was not involved in the attack.

Villariagosa, speaking to television reporters late Thursday, said the Stow case was highly difficult to prove and that detectives were doing the best with the information they had.

"What we did is, we followed hundreds of thosands of leads in a case that was difficult" because police were working with only a general description of the suspects, the mayor said.

He added that there was "not nearly enough in the way of eyewitnesses" who could help identify the attacker.

Well that sure didn't stop LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and the mayor from getting all over the press and publicity agents when Ramirez was nabbed back in May. Again, I hope we have the right person(s) this time, and Bryan Stow and his family might be able to get some shred of justice from this horrible incident.

It's been challenging to keep track of all the Dodgers' tragedies this season, but the Stow incident has been one which has been partially obscured by the McCourt bankruptcy debacle, the McCourt family divorce, and the on-field freefall. The Stow situation had shed light on Dodgers security cutbacks potentially contributing to create a dangerous environment at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers immediately countered with the news that former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton was hired on as a consultant, current LAPD chief Charlie Beck was going to make Dodger Stadium have a visible increase in police presence, and the subsequent capturing of Stow's assailant.

Two months later, the police force presence is definitely still visible at the Stadium (I have to think that the numbers have been reduced a bit, commensurate with the reduced crowds attending Dodger games), but I've yet to see any actions stemming from Bratton's consultancy, and the Stow case seems like it's back at square one. (The Stow family is also suing the Dodgers, and I can't think that the bumbling nature of this case's progression helps any.)

So basically, like the rest of the Dodgers' disasters this season, they're still unfolding and we're still smack dab in the muck. I'm crossing my fingers that the LAPD can at least get some closure on this front, since we Dodger fans have so many other Dodger issues to lament.


Neeebs (The Original) said...

The spectacle of the cross-examination will painful for the prosecution if these "suspects" are ever brought to trial.

Exhibit 1 Chief Beck's stmt that they have the right guy.

Exhibit 2 Eye witnesses who fingered Giovanni Ramirez.

I hope this turns out more than an eye witness case. If not, justice won't win the day.

spank said...

"All Mexicans look alike"-LAPD

Paul said...

I witnessed a Mexican in a Dodger jersey that night! Sorry dad I have to tell the truth...

Paul said...

If they are as vicious as Neeebs on cross then the Government is in trouble. I have never seen a 80 year old woman cry like that before.

Kyle Baker said...

I just the bit about Aaron Miles crediting his hitting with laser eye surgery. Can we arrange to have that done for the rest of the team now?

cc: Jay Gibbons

Neeebs (The Original) said...

@Paul: you forgot to mention that she was from Mexicali.

Eric Karros said...

Looking at title of post: few remember that "Glovanni Ramirez" was his nickname as a defensively gifted high school shortstop.

Anyhoo...he may have gotten off on the Stow beating, but they'll nail him for the 1996 Olympics bombing.