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Bryan Stow Giants Fan

Posted Jul 23 2011 10:31am
LOS ANGELES -- A San Francisco Giants baseball fan who was beaten nearly to death at the Dodgers season opener last week remains hospitalized in critical condition today while detectives sort through dozens of leads in an effort to track down the attackers.

Bryan Stow, 42, from Santa Cruz, Calif., has signs of brain damage and today he had seizures, cousin John Stow told AOL News. Bryan Stow remains in a medically induced coma with half his skull removed to allow his injured brain to swell. He was slammed to the ground while walking through the Dodger parking lot, then repeatedly kicked in the head.

This undated image provided Tuesday April 5, 2011 by John Stow shows Bryan Stow holding his 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
John Stow, AP
Giants fan Bryan Stow, shown holding his 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, remains in critical condition with brain damage after being beaten last week at the Dodgers home opener.
"Bryan is hanging in there. He is doing the best that he can. They are doing everything they can to stabilize him," John Stow, 39, told AOL News. "We talk to him about the old times, the good times we had together, and share stories with music and interact with him as if he were awake. We want to tap into any part of his brain that can hear us and try and keep him holding on."

The Giants owner, general manager and sports announcers all visited Stow in the hospital and presented him with a team jersey signed by all the players, John Stow said.

Meanwhile, police have released composites of the attackers -- two men between the ages of 18 and 25 with shaved heads and mustaches. As a result, dozens of people have called in to say either they recognized the attackers or have heard people admit to committing the assault. Each lead is being followed, including a tip that the duo accosted another group of fans before attacking Stow.

"This is a top priority. We have been receiving a steady stream of leads," Los Angeles police Capt. Dave Lindsay told AOL News. "We're going to announce a pretty substantial reward tomorrow. Hopefully, with this reward we will find the two people who did this."

The reward now stands at $100,000 -- money donated by the city and county of Los Angeles, the Dodger organization and AMR ambulance company, where Stow works as a paramedic.

The divorced father of two young children is a fervent Giants fan who eagerly awaited the Los Angeles game for the past year. He attended with two other friends, all proudly wearing their Giants jerseys.

While exiting the game, Stow became separated from his friends and then was attacked. When the other two men rushed to his aid, they were beaten as well and one had his teeth knocked out, Stow's supervisor, Aiyleen Minch, told AOL News.

The event has devastated Stow's close-knit company, which provides emergency service across the country. Friends and colleagues today are holding a fundraiser barbecue at work, attracting a thousand people after only an hour. Sports items from the Giants and San Jose Sharks hockey team were donated for auction.

"Bryan loves sports, he loves the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys," Minch said. "There's always banter among the employees. He's always on them if they aren't a fan."

Both Minch and co-worker Brian Green said Stow is known for playing practical jokes and having a great disposition, no matter how many hours he worked. He wore the colors of his favorite team under his uniform, depending on whether it was baseball or football season.

The beating has incensed Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, a former police officer. He said the Dodgers employ 200 off-duty LAPD officers to work the game and that's not nearly enough. When the game gets out, the officers need to be rotated from the stadium to the parking lot to ensure that it's safe.

"They need to beef up security," Zine told AOL News, adding that the Dodger clientele is now attracting more gang-type individuals. "It used to be family safe, family friendly, and it hurts the whole theme of baseball. It's incumbent of [team owner] Frank McCourt to provide security that is very visible, very safe."

Zine was behind a recent measure that changed LAPD regulations to allow off-duty officers to wear uniforms instead of regular clothing when hired to patrol a venue. The presence of more officers would send a strong message, Zine said.

The councilman also criticized the Dodgers for an upcoming promotion that offers half-price beer for six games beginning April 21.

"The fact of the matter is you don't have half-priced beer when you have this type of situation happening," Zine said.

Dodger spokesman Josh Rawitch refused to comment on the security issue and pointed to a team regulation that does not allow tailgate parties or the sale of beer after the seventh inning. He said the team is in the process of putting together a fundraiser.

McCourt offered the following prepared statement: "What I'm very, very satisfied with is that the people in the organization work extremely hard to provide a safe environment for our fans, and any breach of that they take personally. It's very upsetting to them because their job is to make this the safest venue in sports and they work hard at it 24/7. They really, really take this stuff to heart and they work extremely hard to create the environment that we promise our fans."

Late today the Dodgers announced that they are hiring former LAPD Chief William Bratton to assess the security procedures at the stadium and parking lot.

To John Stow, these reassurances aren't enough. He is angered by what he calls a lack of security and inadequate lighting conditions that led to his cousin's beating.

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"You want to be protected when you are paying for an event and using your hard-earned money to do something you enjoy," he said.

The fact that Bryan has dedicated his life to saving others make this event even more heartbreaking, he said.

"I got a phone call from him the first time he had ever saved someone," John Stow recalled. "The person was dead on arrival from a heart attack, and Bryan was able to work on him and save his life. That was a pinnacle for Bryan. All the work and everything he went through and he was able to bring someone back. It was the most gratifying feeling he ever had."

Anyone seeking to donate to a fund set up for Stow or wishing to contact his family may do so through a facebook page set up in his honor.
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