The Los Angeles Times reports that the L.A. Police Department has identified a man arrested this morning as a suspect in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow as Giovanni Ramirez, 31. The Times says Ramirez has been booked on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $1 million bail.
That disclosure came shortly after L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck repeatedly declined to name the suspect at a press conference at Dodger Stadium—the scene of the March 31 attack that left Stow in a coma.
Beck told reporters that a tip from a parole agent led to the suspect. The Times expands on that disclosure:
Things fell into place last week when another parolee was detained as a possible suspect in the beating, according to the source. Detectives determined that that man had not been involved in the attack, but the detention led several parole agents to discuss the case amongst themselves. One of them voiced his suspicion that a different parolee under his supervision might be involved, the source said. It is unclear whether the parole agent had passed on his suspicions to police immediately after he met with the suspect and was simply reiterating them last week or whether he had neglected to say something after the meeting.
Regardless, the parole agent called the parolee back in for another meeting last week. When he arrived, the agent noticed that the parolee had recently added several tattoos which covered most of his neck, the source said. That led authorities to suspect that the man was trying to cover up an older tattoo on his neck that witnesses had described to police.
After the meeting, detectives showed photo lineups that included the suspect to three witnesses. All three identified the man as one of the attackers, the source said.
The Times also reported that the man in custody had at least three prior convictions dating back to 1998: for attempted robbery, robbery, and firing a weapon in a public place.
Here’s audio, in two parts, of the Los Angeles police press conference. Part 1 features Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Beck. Part 2 features L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes and Beck.
[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/05/lapd-stow-part1.mp3|titles=Los Angeles Police press conference (part 1): Arrest in Bryan Stow attack]
Part 2[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/05/lapd-stow-part2.mp3|titles=Los Angeles Police press conference (part 2): Arrest in Bryan Stow attack]