Police Search For Dodger Stadium Assault Suspect
Posted Monday, April 8, 2019 - 11:58 am
Authorities were continuing their search Sunday for the suspect who assaulted and critically injured a 47-year-old man in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium.
Rafael Reyna was hospitalized at County/USC Medical Center after his wife, Christel, said he was punched and suffered a fractured skull.
The attack occurred about 12:30 to 1 a.m. March 30, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. William Hayes of the Robbery-Homicide Division said.
Hayes said Reyna was on the phone with his wife when he suffered his injury, which happened while the Dodgers’ 5-4, 13-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was still in progress.
Reyna’s wife said she was on Facetime with her husband when she heard a woman yell “Why did you do that?” as a man approached her husband and cursed at him. Then she heard a crack and the screen went black.
Hayes said that investigators were not able to retrieve images or audio of the conversation.
He said the suspect was accompanied by a woman when the attack occurred, and police were working to identify both of them, but investigators did not have any security video of the attack itself or from the parking lot that would assist them in identifying the pair.
The security only video available to assist investigators was from inside Dodger Stadium, and the man and woman — whom he referred to as “nondescript” — were wearing Dodgers gear, as were thousands of others, Hayes said.
The man was described as Hispanic, in his mid-20s, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. The woman was described as Hispanic, in her 20s, 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 110 pounds with a thin build.
Hayes said a white SUV that police earlier had referred to as a vehicle of interest had been found via license plate images, and the vehicle and its driver had been ruled out as having had any involvement in the incident.
He said the victim and suspect did not know one another, and their dispute originated in the parking lot. He declined to reveal details of the dispute, citing concerns about jeopardizing the ongoing investigation.
The victim was hospitalized in a coma and on life-support following the attack. Hayes said the victim has since been removed from a ventilator and was breathing on his own, but he declined to reveal other details of his medical condition.
Initially, police had investigated the incident as an altercation but later labeled it an assault.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Robbery- Homicide Division at (213) 486-6890.
In 2011, an attack outside Dodger Stadium left Bryan Stow of Santa Cruz severely brain-damaged.
“I can’t believe that it’s been eight years since it happened to me that it’s happening again,” Stow told Bay Area TV station KTVU. “I feel totally sad for him and his family and angry about the people that did this to him.”
The two men who attacked Stow pleaded guilty in 2014 and one, Lonnie Sanchez, was sentenced to eight years in prison while the other, Marvin Norwood, received a four-year sentence. The incident prompted increased security measures at the stadium.