LOS ANGELES -- The day after Los Angeles police arrested a man suspected in the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, Stow's family members expressed appreciation for the Los Angeles Police Department's work on the case.
"We never gave up hope that this day would come, that the beginning of justice being served would happen," Stow's sister, Erin Collins, said outside San Francisco General Hospital, where her brother remains hospitalized. "Our family would like to express our deep gratitude to the LAPD for their exhaustive efforts."
Stow's mother described the wave of emotion that hit her when she received a phone call from an LAPD detective Sunday morning alerting her that police had taken a suspect into custody. "My heart just dropped," Ann Stow said. "It was a very emotional day. We are very excited that this piece of the puzzle, one of the pieces, has been put in place."
After two months chasing hundreds of leads in the high-profile case, LAPD officers arrested 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez after an early-morning operation at the East Hollywood apartment building where Ramirez had been living recently. Police believe the documented gang member is one of two men who attacked Stow, 42, in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on March 31 after the Giants-Dodgers season opener.
Stow, a paramedic and father of two, is in critical but stable condition under heavy sedation to prevent seizures caused by the traumatic brain injury he suffered in the attack. He recently began to open his eyes, but his long-term recovery is far from certain, doctors have said.
Investigators continued to search for the second assailant, as well as the woman who witnesses said drove the men from the stadium.
With the attack garnering intense national scrutiny, Los Angeles police officials put 20 detectives on the case -- an extraordinary amount of resources. Together, they worked more than 6,000 hours on the case and chased nearly 650 tips.
In the weeks after the incident, police detained several people for questioning, only to determine they weren't involved. A $200,000 reward motivated many people. At least one man showed up at a police station and tried to confess to the crime, asking officers if his family would receive the money if he turned himself in, according to a police official.
Police flooded Los Angeles with drawings and descriptions of the suspects, including new billboards put up last week. They took in hundreds of tips. But it was a lead from inside law enforcement that led them to Ramirez.
The break in the case came from Ramirez's parole agent, who alerted police to the possibility that Ramirez resembled descriptions and sketches of one of the attackers, police officials have said.