NPR logo Suspect Arrested In Beating Of Giants Fan; Key Tip Came From Parole Officer

Suspect Arrested In Beating Of Giants Fan; Key Tip Came From Parole Officer

"Giovanni Ramirez, a stocky 31-year-old with a head shaved bald," was arrested by Los Angeles police yesterday in connection with the March 31 beating of a San Francisco Giants fan following the Opening Day game between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Los Angeles Police Department released these drawings during a news conference Sunday (May 22, 2011), of two suspects in the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow. AP hide caption

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The Los Angeles Times adds that "after hundreds of dead-end leads and bogus tips from reward seekers, it was a routine meeting between an ex-con [Ramirez] and his parole agent that may have cracked open the case of Bryan Stow's beating."

"According to a source with knowledge of the investigation, the parole agent met with Ramirez for a mandatory check-in meeting shortly after the attack. By then, the LAPD had released sketches of the two assailants, and the agent noticed that Ramirez bore a resemblance to one of the men.

"It is unclear whether the agent voiced his suspicions to LAPD detectives right away. But it wasn't until last week that police became focused on Ramirez. After police questioned a different parolee and determined he was not involved, Ramirez's agent, either speaking up for the first time or reiterating his beliefs, expressed his suspicions about Ramirez, the source said."

Police are still looking for the second suspect. Stow, 42, suffered brain damage and remains hospitalized. He has reportedly opened his eyes in recent days, but his the extent of his recovery remains very uncertain.

As Eyder reported on May 13, the brutal beating shocked L.A. and spurred security changes at Dodgers games. The LAPD has made finding the assailants a high priority — and has used billboards to make their mugs known.

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