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LAPD Better Hope Sanchez Norwood Right Men After Wrong Bryan Stow Arrests

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In The News

It was the unthinkable crime that left Los Angeles police detectives first naming, arresting and charging the wrong person after Bryan Stow sustained brain injury in a severe Dodgers stadium beating. LAPD better hope its new arrests of Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood are right after wrong paths in arrests related to the Stow criminal case.
It doesn't look good for LAPD -- after the law enforcement agency insisted it had the right guy in the Bryan Stow crime: Giovanni Ramirez. Ramirez was arrested by Los Angeles police after the unspeakable beating of Santa Clara County paramedic Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium.
The problem for LAPD is its track record in the Bryan Stow criminal case. The agency didn't just say it thought it had its man, it absolutely insisted Ramirez was the guy responsible for the Stow beating that left the victim in a coma. Giovanni Ramirez probably narrowly escaped a wrongful prosecution only because Ramirez' (potential defense) attorney -- Anthony Brooklier -- hired a former FBI polygraph expert by the name of Jack Trimarco. While many insist polygraphs aren't accurate in determining guilt, this polygraph may have rightfully set Ramirez free in the Stow beating case. It seems Ramirez didn't know what a bullpen was -- and apparently investigators believe that to be true. But Giovanni Ramirez was only set free Friday, July 22 -- as investigators were in the process of arresting two other guys.
That's not to say Giovanni Ramirez is or isn't a nice guy. He's got a previous record with three convictions and claims he's a known gang member of the Varrio Nueva Estrada (VNE) gang in Boyle Heights. Giovanni Ramirez was arrested on May 22, 2011, by LAPD -- booked on assault with a deadly weapon, a foot allegedly serving as the deadly weapon in the Bryan Stow case. He may be responsible for some serious crimes in the past, or even in the future. But that's not to say Ramirez is responsible for the Bryan Stow beating that left a man fighting for his life.
Pinning the Bryan Stow crime on the wrong guy -- and insisting he's the reight one -- makes the new, current LAPD arrests a lot more questionable. The law enforcement agency is under even more scrutiny after previous and wrong insistence that cops had their man. 
It wasn't just the Los Angeles Police Department that insisted Giovanni Ramirez had beaten Bryan Stow. LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck has also claimed Ramirez was surely the guy responsible, even getting on TV for media interviews related to that insistence. So it all appears a little suspect when police officers suddenly arrested two other men only days ago, with Police Chief Beck admitting Giovanni Ramirez was no longer a suspect in the Bryan Stow case.
From the get-go, Giovanni Ramirez had supporters that claimed they didn't believe he'd committed the Stow crime or beating. After all, it was no mystery that LAPD had some serious pressure to capture and prosecute the person(s) responsible for maiming and nearly killing Bryan Stow. The victim's family of course wanted answers and, obviously, someone to pay for the crime committed against its loved one. And the publicity of the Stow beating meant cops were under pressure to arrest and charge the criminal responsible.
Time was ticking away -- then, three months after the beating, in May the police department suddenly claimed it not only arrested the criminal who performed the heinous act but additionally had no doubt about the guy behind bars. The public had some doubt. It did seem odd that Ramirez was arrested only because of a probation or 'parole violation' that got the man into LAPD police custody after cops found a gun at his residence. That in itself seemed slightly suspicious -- that a parole violation led to the arrest, making the arrest appear a bit like, perhaps, there was some missing evidence the police needed in order to nail Ramirez for the Stow crime. Not even baseball stadium surveillance tied Giovanni Ramirez to the Stow crime. And there was no talk of any other evidence from the police department.
To see how adamate the LAPD and Police Chief Beck were in their arrest and insistence Giovanni Ramirez beat Bryan Stow, view May video footage.
On the back end, Beck -- who had first assigned LAPD detectives in its Northeast division, where the Bryan Stow beating occurred -- was switching hands of who was in charge of investigating the crime. Police Chief Beck finally gave the case to the police department's robbery-homicide squad, a team that began the Stow investigation from scratch. Yet Chief Beck continued to the media and public that Ramirez was the responsible party in the Bryan Stow crime.
It's LAPD's robbery-homicide team that's now claiming two Dodgers baseball fans -- men witnesses claim were acting obnoxiously during the stadium's game -- beat Bryan Stow to within an inch of his life. But obnoxiousness does not equal a violent crime. If 'obnoxious' was a crime, a good 10%-percent of the average stadium would be behind bars.
In a Stow group photo published by TMZ on June 29 after the March 2011 beating, two separate men on two sides of the row where Bryan Stow is physically seated, are shown in a photograph -- or at least their middle fingers are represented. It's not clear whether the LAPD is using the seating arrangement, shown in that photo, in the case against Sanchez and Norwood. But that photograph represents a vast majority of all that is known about that night. There doesn' seem to be a lot of evidence to go around. If the law enforcement agency does plan to use that photo as evidence in the Stow case, it may make things tricky. The Dodgers fans photographed, flipping off the camera in the Stow group photo, are seated in two rows at Dodgers Stadium -- both above and below Stow seat at the ballpark.
In the photos now being distributed via the media and news, supposedly provided by LAPD and obtained through nearby attendees of the Dodgers-Giants baseball game, the three people listed as suspects related to the case are sitting in the same row.
29-year-old Louie Sanchez and 30-year-old Marvin Norwood as well as Dorene Sanchez -- whom LAPD police claim is an accomplice in the Bryan Stow beating, are shown seated together in one row on either video or camera footage that police obtained from another attendee at the game. All three are from Rialto, California. With Dodgers fans flipping off the Stow group on two sides, from two rows, there's proof that giving the camera a finger does not equal beating someone.
To add some mystery, and cast a bit of doubt in the police department's claim that LAPD is now absolutely sure it truly has its criminals in custody, Dorene Sanchez was arrested by the police department -- and released.
To add more intrigue, those two men now charged with assaulting and severely beating the San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium are supposedly suspected of assaulting three other Giants fans on that opening day game. Yet despite it all, reports to the media aren't addressing any evidence aside from the fact that witnesses can place Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood at the stadium along with Bryan Stow.
The story now is that LAPD detectives believe others got approached by suspects Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood -- on the west side of Dodgers stadium on March 31, 2011. According to police, witnesses supposedly saw Sanchez assault at least one of those unidentified men. As to the age of that witness, that also remains unidentified for now. The L.A. Times had reported that -- in the Bryan Stow case -- a child is responsible for the tip that led to the Sanchez and Norwood arrests. It's unknown who is supposedly linking the two men now arrested to other assaults.
LAPD has charged Sanchez with misdemeanor assault in connection with one of those incidents, but it all begs the question whether police investigators are using another case to make the Stow case look better -- at least in the public eye. For now, Norwood hasn't been charged in any other possible assaults. But Louie Sanchez is now additionally accused by LAPD of responsibility in a misdemeanor battery, related to a woman at the game. A woman wearing a Giants shirt at Dodgers stadium supposedly had Sanchez throw something at her during the game. It's unclear why that 'assault' is suddenly coming to light now. It certainly wasn't an event where cops seemed to be a clear hunt for the assailant previously.
Both Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood have been charged July 22 with felony mayhem and assault charges in the beating of Bryan Stow -- with the first court appearance for the two men on Monday, July 25. The arraignment for Sanchez and Norwood isn't coming for the next two weeks, when both men charged in the felonies will appear in court again on August 10, 2011.
In the meantime, the Los Angeles Police Department is asking other 'possible victims' to come forward. It seems the LAPD is looking for more to support its case against the two men just arrested July 22.
The official complaint against Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood claims each man inflicted great bodily injury on Bryan Stow, "causing him to become comatose due to brain injury and to suffer paralysis." The serious charge of mayhem alleges the two men "did cut and disable the tongue, and put out an eye," -- a confusing statement to the public. D.A. spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons says the wording is legal language -- that Stow had not had his eye or tongue taken out. Perhaps some new, clearer legal language might be more helpful.
So what exactly is the evidence against the new arrests, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood? It's an interesting question -- because there doesn't appear to be a lot. With Ramirez, LAPD had no stadium surveillance video or phone records to use in the arrest. And it seems there's a lack of information in the two new arrests also: The felony case against the two men in the Bryan Stow case seems to center on incriminating statements the men have made. It's a claim that could put many people behind bars.
In a more bizarre turn, supposedly co-workers and others claimed the two men now arrested had bragged about the Bryan Stow beating. Now, it appears those people are no longer supporting that idea. Whether those people are backing away because of fear of retaliation -- or because the statements were never true to begin with -- is unclear.
There's cell phone tower and photographic evidence that Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were at the game -- along with a hell of a lot of other people.
Of course guns are popular in certain parts: Police reportedly found five firearms including an assault rifle, at the home of Norwood. LAPD's prior arrest, Ramirez, also had a gun. But of course Bryan Stow was not shot. The court document claims Sanchez told witnesses not to provide information about the Stow beating -- which may or may not be the case. The problem is, there seems to be a lack of evidence and that may cause LAPD real problems in prosecuting its case against the two men.
Like Givoanni Ramirez and his previous arrest by the LAPD, it's not exactly a surprise that both of the two new arrests also have prior criminal records. What may be more surprising is that both don't have priors. Marvin Norwood was sentenced in 2006 -- garnering three years' probation after serving 118 days in jail in a case where he pled guilty to a felony count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. In 2003, Louie Sanchez pled guilty to a felony count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. In 2004 Sanchez pled no contest to a misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded weapon.
Of course the previous criminal records make things look better for police. But the reality is, suspects may be guilty of beating their wives or girlfriends -- a horrible crime. And they may carry a loaded weapon. In certain locales, guns aren't exactly surprising. But having a criminal record doesn't prove Sanchez or Norwood beat Bryan Stow to within an inch of his life. The LAPD better garner itself some evidence. Prosecuting the wrong men or losing the Stow case through lack of evidence is going to look far worse than capturing no one at all.


Los Angeles, CA
United States
34° 3' 8.0424" N, 118° 14' 37.266" W
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