Heightened Security for Dodgers Opening Day
Both the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Department of General Services' Office of Public Safety patrolled the area surrounding Dodger Stadium for the the Dodgers' home opening game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday afternoon.
The extra security measure for Opening Day came one year after the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, and is intended to show that any rowdy behavior or violance will not be tolerated.
According to Deputy Police Chief Jose Perez Jr., some LAPD officers dressed in Pittsburgh Pirates jerseys "to see if anybody [was] going to attack those officers."
Police searched nearby parks to ensure nobody was camping out and drinking before the game. Drinking alcoholic beverages in the stadium parking lots is forbidden, a ban enforced because of the Bryan Stow incident.
An LAPD statement read, "Such behavior greatly concerns the LAPD, not only because drinking alcoholic beverages in public parks is illegal, but because it frequently leads to altercations, rowdy behavior and other unsafe activities."
Stow attended last year's home opener against the San Francisco Giants when he was severely beaten in the parking lot after the game, leaving him in a coma and with permanent brain damage. He was wearing his Giants jersey at the game. Last month, he was finally transferred from a hospital to a therapy facility.
In July 2011, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were arrested for mayhem, assault, and battery of Bryan Stow. They are currently awaiting trial for the charges.
Excessive drinking and rowdy behavior has been a problem at the games, with 72 of 89 arrests at last year's home opener being related to public intoxication in the stadium parking lots. The Stow beating marked the second act of violence at Dodger Stadium, as another man was stabbed in the parking lot after the 2009 home opener, also against the Giants.
Fred Claire, previous Dodgers General Manager, said "The Bryan Stow beating... marked the saddest chapter in the history of Dodger Stadium," adding, "The impact of this unforgivable act of violence was felt throughout the world of sports."
The Dodgers won the game 2-1, thanks to an eighth inning home run by Andre Ethier. Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully did not call the game because of a "severe cold", and was told to rest by doctors.