Report: 2 arrested in Giants fan beating
Los Angeles police on Friday continued to question two suspects arrested in connection with the assault on Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium in March.
The arrests late Thursday exonerated 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez, who was arrested in May but never charged in the case, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.
But Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant Andy Neiman refused to confirm the Times' report when questioned by FOX News Channel.
"The Stow investigation continues. We are making good progress and as details become available we will share them with the public," Neiman said.
Following a widely publicized manhunt for Stow's attackers, Ramirez was arrested after police and SWAT teams surrounded an apartment complex in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.
A parole agent had tipped police that Ramirez might be one of the assailants and multiple witnesses identified him from photo lineups, the Times reported.
But investigators struggled to link Ramirez to the case after poring over cell phone records, surveillance footage, financial records and other possible links and tips, according to the Times.
Unable to positively connect him to the assault, Ramirez, a known gang member, was held on suspicion of parole violation. He was ordered in late June to serve 10 months in prison for a having access to a gun.
Earlier in June, with the case becoming "more complex and prolonged," Los Angeles Police decided to hand the investigation over to the LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD). It is not immediately known what evidence obtained by the RHD may have led to the latest arrests, according to the Times.
Ramirez's lawyer, Anthony Brooklier, who told the Times Thursday night he had not heard about any developments in the case, said he "always believed [Ramirez] was factually innocent."
"There was a lot of pressure on LAPD. I believe that they were operating in good faith and made a good faith mistake," Brooklier said.
Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two, suffered severe brain injuries in a savage beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day on March 31.
His condition had been upgraded from critical to serious last month, with doctors saying that he was breathing without a ventilator. But his family announced Wednesday he was forced to undergo emergency surgery in a San Francisco hospital.
According to the family's website, Stow's medical team decided to operate after he suffered a 30-second seizure, most likely caused by a buildup of fluid in his brain.