Stadium Violence Against San Francisco Fans: Not Just an L.A. Problem
One person was beaten and two others shot at a 49ers vs. Raiders football game in Candlestick Park on Saturday night.
It contradicts core beliefs about the Bryan Stow beating months before: Not only was the infamous violence at a Dodgers vs. Giants baseball game on March 31 not a Latino problem, it may not have been a Los Angeles problem, either.
Internet onlookers were quick to pull the blame card on L.A.'s bulging population of cholos/gang members, after the San Francisco Giants fan was beaten to a pulp while wearing team gear. (Though there's good news on that front: Stow began moving on his own and turning toward hospital visitors when they spoke to him last week.)
The latest stadium violence -- which could not have been borne of turf pride, as it took place at the 49ers' home stadium -- began with the 7 p.m. beating of a 26-year-old man in a pubic bathroom.
By 8 p.m., reports of a second attack surfaced: A 24-year-old man wearing a "Fuck the 49ers" T-shirt had been shot several times in the parking lot. (Similarly, Stow's beatdown occurred in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.) A while later, a third man was suffering from multiple bullet wounds, as well. All are alive, but in critical condition.
SF Weekly, our sister paper in NorCal, has the (still vague) details on Saturday's suspected assailants:
Police have detained a person of interest in one of the shootings, but no arrests have been made, SFPD tells reporters. The detained man was reportedly wearing Raiders apparel.
In the beating incident, the suspect was described as a 6-foot-tall Samoan or Pacific Islander in his late 20s, with a goatee and a ponytail, weighing more than 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans, police said.
This separate fight in the stands was also caught on tape that night:
The latest stadium violence also raises questions about whether Dodgers owner Frank McCourt shoulders some of the blame for Stow's beating, as the victim's family members (and many anti-McCourt Angelenos) allege. They say the game had lax security, and are suing McCourt for his negligence.
Defensive words from Sgt. Michael Andraychak, spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department, are a deja vous of McCourt's reaction in April. Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Police defended the level of security at the stadium. Andraychak said city officers join 49ers staff to provide security at all games, but typically add extra officers when the team plays the Raiders, due to the rivalry.
Exact numbers aren't disclosed by policy, he said, but the level of security at a given game depends on factors including how many people are expected to attend and who is playing.
"I can't explain human behavior and why people get into fights," Andraychak said. "We believe we had sufficient staffing for the event."
Prior to the Stow attack and backlash against Dodgers fans, Raiders diehards were often said to be the nastiest in sports. Looks like that spotlight may have moved back north for a spell. Updates to come as more parallels -- or points of departure -- emerge between the two events.
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