Strange moves at the LAPD regarding the near-fatal beat-down of San Francisco Giants' fan Bryan Stow on Dodgers opening day.

On Wednesday the department announced its investigation of the high-profile beating was being taken over by its Robbery Homicide Division detectives.

What's strange about this isn't that murder dicks will be sniffing around a bare-fisted beating in which Stow survived. No, rather …

… what's strange is that it took the LAPD so long to make this move. Stow was assaulted on March 31 and the crime immediately made headlines up and down the West Coast, with the mayor and the chief of police vowing to find the two young men and a female getaway driver witnesses said did it simply because Stow was wearing Giants garb.

RHD isn't just for homicides. It's for the highest-profile cases. It employs the department's most-elite, experienced investigators.

Given the intense press interest in the case, we're surprised RHD detectives didn't take it over from hour one.

Instead, investigators from the Northeast Division, which includes Dodger Stadium, were allowed to take the case.

A misstep?

If the LAPD doesn't come up with a smoking gun soon, we're going to say the department has been caught a little off balance on this case.

While the department has fingered a suspect named Giovanni Ramirez as one of the alleged beaters, his lawyers have been on the offensive against the department, indicating he passed two lie detector tests and claiming:

-Ramirez was not at Dodger Stadium that day and at least 10 witnesses can provide an alibi.

-His 10-year-old daughter is willing to testify she was with him that day.

-Ramirez had a different hair style than the shaved-head suspect witnesses fingered, and surveillance video might prove that.

Meanwhile the police have yet to present a case to the District Attorney's office. Ramirez remains in jail on a parole violation. The transfer to RHD detectives was made because the “demands of the case become more complex and prolonged,” according to an LAPD statement.

Good time to bring the big guns in, but maybe they should have been on it all along.


LA Weekly