On opening day in 2011, Bryan Stow, now 45 and a fan of the San Francisco Giants, was brutally attacked by two Los Angeles Dodger fans in the parking lot outside of Dodger Stadium. The attackers, Marvin Norwood, now 33, and Louie Sanchez, now 31, were sentenced to four and eight years respectively. Bryan Stow, however, is permanently disabled from the brain damage he suffered and requires extensive daily care, which is currently being administered by his family.
Stow, a paramedic and father of two, attended the game at Dodger Stadium with a group of his paramedic friends wearing Giants gear. Comments were not specifically exchanged between Stow and his attackers prior to the beating outside of Dodger Stadium. Stow is described as having been attacked unprovoked from behind after the game on the way to his car. He suffered a fractured skull when he fell to the ground. He was then punched and kicked repeatedly while on the ground. His severe brain injuries resulted in a medically induced coma followed by rehabilitation with round the clock care.
The rivalry between the two baseball teams is legendary, and fan behavior is a concern. The attack on Stow outside of Dodger Stadium and the stabbing death of a Dodger fan in 2012 near the Giants AT&T Park have led to increased security at events including off-duty, plain clothes police officers. The security can also include officers in opposing teams jerseys.
Norwood pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years on the charge of assault which resulted in bodily injury. Sanchez also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight years on the charge of mayhem. Both men will be credited for their time already served, which means Norwood may be eligible to be released soon. Both men are convicted felons and are facing separate charges for weapons found when they were arrested for the attack on Stow. If released, Norwood will likely go right back to prison to await trial on the weapons charges, which would bring a sentence of up to 10 years.
While sentencing Stow’s attackers, Superior Court Judge George Lomeli harshly criticized both men for their actions. The Stow family commented repeatedly on the lack of remorse shown by the men and noted that Bryan must live with his disabilities for the rest of his life.
Over two years later, Bryan is no longer able to care for himself and can only communicate with great difficulty. The Stow family moved Bryan from the rehabilitation facility to his parents’ home to continue his care for insurance reasons. His family including his sisters and ex-wife are now responsible for attending to his every need and will need to do so for the rest of his life. A lawsuit filed on behalf of Stow against the Dodgers for inadequate security is pending a hearing date of May 27, 2014. The family is seeking $50 million dollars to pay for Bryan’s medical care.
Both teams have spoken out against the senseless tragedy resulting from the intense rivalry of the teams. The sentencing of Bryan Stow’s attackers is minimal compared to the disabilities he and his family have to live with every day for the rest of his life.
By Jennifer Bridge