Update: To be clear, the criminal complaint against Sanchez and Norwood alleges that the suspects “did cut and disable the tongue, and put out an eye,” but the District Attorney's Office says Stow did not actually lose either his tongue or eye. More details about their court appearance today, after the jump.
After months of searching for the two men who witnesses saw beat Giants fan Bryan Stow into a bloody pulp (and near-fatal coma) outside Dodger Stadium, the LAPD might finally have their bad guys: Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood. Unlike former suspect Giovanni Ramirez, a dead ringer for one of the police composites but otherwise difficult to tie to the crime, Sanchez and Norwood have reportedly admitted to, and even bragged about, beating Stow:
“Police sources” tell the Los Angeles Times that not only did witnesses see the new suspects acting unruly at the game, but they went so far as to “brag to co-workers” about the attack in the days that followed.
Looks like we've got some stupid (alleged) criminals on our hands. And a hell of a lot more evidence than Police Chief Charlie Beck originally insisted, at the urging of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, that investigators had against Ramirez.
The Times also reports today that Dorene Sanchez, the woman arrested on suspicion of driving their getaway vehicle, has admitted that Norwood and Sanchez, her respective husband and brother, were the ones who beat Stow.
Both men are being arraigned in L.A. Superior Court this morning, charged with felonies such as “mayhem,” “assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury” and “battery with serious bodily injury.”
Here are the original suspect composites, based on witness descriptions. Looks like Sanchez might be the one on the left, with Norwood on the right:
The criminal complaint against them paints an even more gruesome picture of the assault than was previously reported. It claims Sanchez and Norwood cut out Bryan Stow's eye and tongue — and “slit his nose, ear and lip” — before leaving him unconscious.
Of course, just like after May's big SWAT raid and arrest of Ramirez, the suspects' neighbors are incredulous. Some say there is no way the LAPD could be correct in accusing Sanchez and Norwood — who they knew as good-natured family men living quiet lives on a Rialto cul-de-sac.
Members of the suburban community watched in disbelief as both plain-clothes and heavily outfitted law-enforcement personnel rushed the Sanchez household with a battering ram early last Thursday morning.
However, upon closer inspection, both men have extensive criminal records, including wife-beating and unlawful possession of a firearm. And Norwood's mom has admitted her son likes the Dodgers. Though no neighbors could pin down Sanchez or Norwood as Dodgers fans in particular, some said they often played baseball on the front lawn with their kids.
[Update: John and Ken of KFI radio interviewed Ronald Humphries, a first cousin and former housemate of Norwood's, on Friday. Humphries said Norwood had a quick violent temper, a history of drug dealing and — most incriminatingly — season tickets for the Dodgers. “I'm not surprised in the least bit,” he said of the arrest. “He's the kind of person that's peed off at the whole world for absolutely nothing.” Also: “He was in and out of jail in the couple months I was there and on several occassions he would beat up his girlfriend. … [Dorene] knows everything Marvin was doing at his mom's house and they would sell marijuana.”]
Dorene Sanchez and Norwood have three children, all under age 11, and Louie Sanchez has one son, around 10 years old. This could also work against them in court, since witnesses saw a 10-year-old boy sitting in the back of the getaway vehicle on Opening Day.
Update: According to NBC4, today's arraignment of Sanchez and Norwood was delayed until August 10, at the request of their attorneys. The LAPD reportedly has surveillance footage of the two men engaging in some kind of argument with Stow, prior to the beating. (No word on whether that video could be related to the one TMZ released last month of a verbal fight between Stow and an unidentified Dodgers fan in the stands.)
Sanchez and Norwood could be served with up to eight and nine years behind bars, respectively.
We've contacted the D.A. for more information. Originally posted at 9:35 a.m.