LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Closing arguments will begin today in the trial of Bryan Stow’s negligence lawsuit against former Dodgers owners Frank McCourt, alleging lax security at Dodger Stadium on opening day 2011 led to a parking lot assault that left the former paramedic in a wheelchair.
Stow, now 45, was attacked on March 31, 2011, by two Dodger fans after the Dodgers defeated the Giants. A San Francisco who was wearing Giants paraphernalia, Stow was punched from behind by Louie Sanchez after the home opener between the longtime rivals.
Sanchez and his friend, Marvin Norwood, then kicked the Northern California father of two after he fell to the ground.
In their lawsuit against McCourt and Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, Stow’s attorneys maintain security was insufficient inside and outside the stadium and that no officers or guards were present in lot 2 when Stow was attacked.
They contend his assailants should have been kicked out of Dodger Stadium hours earlier for unruly behavior and that more uniformed security within the stadium could have acted as a deterrent to their misconduct.
Sanchez, 31, and Norwood, 33, both of Rialto, pleaded guilty in January to carrying out the attack on Stow and were sentenced to eight- and four-year terms, respectively. They are also both facing a federal weapons charge that could land them in a federal lockup for up to 10 years.
Defense attorneys say Sanchez, Norwood and Stow are to blame for his injuries. They assert Stow was drunk, gestured toward his assailants and made sarcastic remarks. McCourt filed a cross-complaint against Norwood and Sanchez that is being tried along with Stow’s case.
Several witnesses for Stow, however, have denied during the trial that he antagonized his assailants.
Stow, who is expected to require extensive medical care for the rest of his life, was in court Wednesday for the final day of testimony.
He listened as a video deposition was played of the former Dodgers executive who decided to have more off-duty Los Angeles police officers wear polo shirts rather than regular uniforms during selected games. Ramon Maytorena, the team’s vice president of security from October 2008 to December 2010, said he thought the civilian attire could diffuse potential trouble.
Maytorena said he believed troublemakers would not respect security personnel wearing police uniforms and badges and that such attire could escalate negative situations. He said that while the number of incidents fell after more officers began wearing polo shirts, for some games it was still better to have a higher presence of personnel in regular police uniforms.
Maytorena, a former Secret Service agent, also said gang-related problems declined during his tenure and that there were no violent incidents in parking lot 2, where Stow was attacked. Maytorena had left the Dodgers by that time and now lives in Arizona.
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