Los Angeles exulted on Sunday morning when it was reported that a suspect in the Bryan Stow beating case had been apprehended. After early reports circulated, the police chief and mayor set up shop at Dodger Stadium to have a media conference.
The suspect was taken from an apartment in Hollywood after being surrounded and confronted with the sound of a voice on a bull horn, then taken into custody.
His name was finally released and we learned that Giovanni Ramirez, 31 is an ex-con whose arrest was being credited to a tip from a parole officer.
He is a two-time offender and has yet to be charged as police work with the District Attorney to solidify what evidence they have to charge him, in the horrible incident that shocked the conscience of the city and pushed the Dodgers organization to tighten its security force.
Because of the emotional nature of the public reaction it isn’t surprising that by Monday, many wanted to close the book on the Ramirez arrest and declare him guilty.
One person who didn’t was a man who identified himself as the suspect’s cousin. He refused to give his name when he called in to the ESPN radio affiliate in Los Angeles, 710-AM.
The man pleaded his cousin’s case on the air in answer to questions from the co-hosts John Ireland and Steve Mason. As any good family member would do, the caller pointed out circumstantial facts that he believed served to demonstrate innocence.
He wasn’t at Dodger Stadium that night said the caller. When he wasn’t countering arguments made by the radio hosts, he was accusing the authorities of framing Ramirez and profiling the man who was arrested, based on an artist’s sketch that in truth didn’t distinguish him from many young Latino men in Los Angeles.
“One thing,” said the cousin who didn’t want to identify himself. ” He has a past but he’s not a person who would beat up a fan like that. He’s not like that.”
Relying on logic that made it sound as if a die-hard Dodgers fan did the work on Stow, the caller continued, “He wouldn’t beat up a Giants fan…he’s not a basebal fanatic or a Dodgers fanatic.”
Asked if Ramirez is a current or former gang member, the radio show audience was told, “He’s not a member of a gang that I know of. He was always calm, very respectful. Cops try to frame you.” Authorities have called the suspect a known gang member.
What did his physical appearance have to do with the suspect being framed, as his cousin claimed? “in a lineup he doesn’t look good with full sleeves and body tattoos.” That led to the co-hosts going off on a tangent about whether tattoos on a person’s neck and full-length of their arms are markers that he or she is up to no good.
Ramirez being a two-time offender, puts him in jeopardy of being incarcerated without parole after three-strikes, should he be charged, take a plea or be found guilty.
In the meantime, the cousin-caller says no one has spoken to Giovanni Ramirez since his arrest. With bail being set at $1 million it doesn’t appear that Ramirez’s family will be able to spring him, unless bail is adjusted in a hearing.
Bryan Stow has yet to be responsive other than some small movements and opening his eyes on occasion. His family waits near him for a miracle and who could blame them.
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