LOS ANGELES >> City officials say they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure baseball fans are safe at Dodger Stadium after a savage beating at the season opener that left a San Francisco Giants fan with brain damage.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt are scheduled to hold a news conference Friday to announce new security measures that will be implemented at the stadium, the mayor’s office said in a statement.
“You’re going to see a sea of blue, but it’s not going to be Dodgers blue. It’s going to be LAPD blue,” police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday. “This is going to be a game-changer.”
Beck asked the team to pay for the deployment of uniformed officers. He declined to estimate how much the extra personnel would cost or how many officers would be deployed but said he would spare no expense to ensure public safety at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said the club will cover the overtime costs.
Bryan Stow, 42, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, remained in critical condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after he was attacked last week by two men wearing Dodgers attire in the stadium parking lot because Stow was wearing a Giants jersey. Witnesses told police the men were drunk.
Officials scrambled to keep the incident from damaging the city’s image and to prevent further outbreaks of violence between fans of the archrival Dodgers and Giants.
“It’s an aberration,” Councilman Ed Reyes said. “Dodger Stadium is part of our identity. We need to restore our confidence.”
Deputy Chief Jose Perez said the release of composite sketches of the suspects generated 80 leads that were being followed by a team of detectives.
“We have our best working on this,” he said.
A reward for information leading to an arrest has grown to $150,000, with donors including the City Council, the Dodgers, Giants, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Stow’s employer American Medical Response.
In addition, the Dodgers have hired former LAPD Chief William Bratton to study lighting, alcohol sales and other security issues.