FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.

Dodger Blues: Take Me Out At the Ballgame

The gangster element reared its head, when thugs brutally beat up San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at the Dodgers' home opener.

April 11, 2011  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

To gang members, supporting their sports team means supporting their gang, even if it means violently attacking a bystander and father. Photo: Flickr (uubergeek).

Bryan Stow, a husband and father of two, clings to life at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. The excellent doctors and hospital staff have employed all their skills in attempting to save his life and prevent further damage to his brain. He is in a coma and has suffered critical "brain injury and dysfunction," according to his neurosurgeon Dr. Gabriel Zada.

Stow, who lives in Santa Cruz, is a 42-year-old paramedic and avid San Francisco Giants baseball fan. On March 31, he attended season opening game at Dodger Stadium with a few friends. Stow and some other Giants fans wore hats and clothing with Giants logos and colors in support of their team. Apparently in Los Angeles this seemingly innocent act carries the death penalty.

During the game, a pack of cowardly thugs dressed in Dodger clothing were harassing and intimidating anyone they recognized as a Giants fan. As Stow and his friends hurriedly tried to leave stadium after a 2-1 Dodgers win, he was struck without warning from behind. He was then kicked and pummeled, while laying on the ground. A few brave souls tried to come to Stow's aid, chasing the thugs away. Two of the fleeing suspects were picked up by a woman driving a four-door sedan with a small boy in the car.

At first, the Los Angeles media portrayed this incident as fanatic Dodger baseball fans attacking a Giants fan. The reporters carefully avoided identifying the suspects as gang members for fear of being thought of as racists. Take a look at the composites — they may not be identified and validated in the Cal-Gang computer yet, but they are gang members.

In Los Angeles, there seems to be a cultural tolerance for thug gangsters. We don't want to offend anyone. They walk around Los Angeles sporting gang clothing with shaved heads and tattoos advertizing their gang affiliation and cry racism if anyone identifies them as gang bangers.

If public venues, businesses and store keepers refused them service or asked them to leave, the ACLU lawyers and gang loving "do-gooders" would sue and protest on their behalf. However, we think there's nothing wrong when these same shop keepers post signs displaying "no shirt, no shoes, no service." What? It is OK to refuse service to a shirtless citizen, but not to a troublemaker gang thug? Do you want to discourage gang membership? Stop catering to these gang members.

The Giants and Dodgers a longtime baseball rivals. Both teams began play at their new California homes in 1958. The New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers were rivals in New York. The Giants moved to San Francisco in Northern California, while the Dodgers wound up in Los Angeles. This latest attack had very little to do with baseball rivalries.

From its beginnings in the California Youth Authority, the Mexican Mafia and its army of Southern California gang members called Sureños have identified with the Dodgers' "LA" logo and Dodger Blue. When the rival northern Hispanic gangs formed the Nuestra Familia prison gang in the mid '60s, they adopted the rival Giants logo and the color red. Look around — the thugs wearing Giants or Dodgers caps and jerseys are not doing it to support a baseball team. They do it to support a prison gang.

Much has recently been made about the poor security at Dodger Stadium — the inadequate lighting, poor parking system and the serving of beer at the games. Adding insult to injury, Dodger Stadium sits on the same land as the LAPD academy.

Perhaps more uniformed LAPD officers should be assigned to the stadium. Maybe Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa could appoint a stadium safety czar. Perhaps Kroll Security Chairman and ex-LAPD Chief William Bratton could repair the broken windows and paint over the graffiti in the surrounding neighborhood. Maybe City Councilwoman Janice Hahn's community gang workers could mediate disputes between the rival fans.

Or maybe Dodger security and the police could be allowed to identify gang troublemakers and make them feel unwanted in and around the stadium. How about arresting and prosecuting gang members who disrupt public events and intimidate good citizens and families?

I don't go to Dodger games. I used to go, and I knew lots of good cops who used to go. But the tolerance of gang members at this venue, and the stadium's policy of not allowing off-duty officers to be armed at the stadium is offensive to me. On Dodger Stadium's Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Dodger Stadium offers free admission to members of law enforcement. However, it forbids them their right to carry their weapons. This hypocritical policy seems to say, "We honor you for protecting and serving us, but we don't trust you in our home with a gun."

Like the infamous assaults at Raiders football games, and the riots after basketball and soccer championships, these dangerous activities will continue as long as society accepts and tolerates this gang-like activity.

Gang members represent a criminal culture. Our language and symbols don't mean the same thing to them. We live in different worlds. Right and wrong are not understood in the same way. Symbols are interpreted differently.

To Bryan Stow and the rest of the sane world, his Giants baseball gear represented his love of baseball and his support for his team. To that cowardly pack of gang thugs, it was the symbol for the rival Norteño gangs and the Nuestra Familia prison gang. To them, this is like wearing a Nazi uniform to the Auschwitz survivors' reunion.

And who can afford the high cost of taking the family to these sporting events? Some sources have reported that the Dodger organization often distributes free tickets to favored organizations in poorer neighborhoods. Is this how these gang members get good tickets and can still afford to get drunk on $5 beers?

The policy-makers must decide. Do we as a society abdicate all public functions to gang members in the interest of some twisted idea of racial tolerance and become recluses in our own homes? Or should we protect good citizens by enforcing the rule of law vigorously, and make no excuses for gang thugs?

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Michael @ 4/11/2011 8:54 PM

This is a perfect example on how we always hear people just say "thats the way things are today",BS. Slam these scumbags and set standards to attend games or you don't get in. We let this crap go on far to long, I've been to the Raiders games, talk about out of control animals. These gang bangers or thugs think they own the place. I have become so disguised with the gang bangers getting away with all kinds of crap my family and I don't even go anymore. The cops hand their hands tied and have to give warnings over and over before they can arrest. I mean, football, baseball or basketball.....It's almost all the same, But, It's worse at the football games. We need to show these scumbags we are not going to tolerate their crap anymore in any fashion what so ever. I mean it's not like it is cheap to attend any of these events. So, here is a guy who goes to a sporting event to have some fun with friends and look at what happens, he goes to the hospital instead of home to his family. Maybe, even worse. It's not right or fair, I really hope these scumbags are caught. I pray for a miracle for this poor guy and his family.

Morning Eagle @ 4/11/2011 11:17 PM

"Apparently in Los Angeles this seemingly innocent act carries the death penalty." If these scumbag gang bangers are ever caught, which is unlikely, they should each face the death penalty even if Mr. Stow survives because it won't be due to any mercy shown by them if he does. His life has been changed for the worse forever. If society continues to tolerate these intolerable scum because of fear of being called racist or any other stupid politically correct excuse then society is just begging for increasing in-your-face lawlessness and eventual total anarchy by these thuggish criminals. They are nothing but low-life criminals, they are not cool like they think they are and they are not of any value to decent people that I can see. If they want to kill each other off I could care less, the more the better, but they must be stopped from running roughshod over others to where people actually change their lifestyles in order to avoid the chance of being exposed to their senseless violence.

And what kind of idiots are setting policies prohibiting law enforcement officers from carrying firearms on their property? That is utterly stupid and does nothing to solve the situation. It only makes it safer for the criminal gangsters to do what they want to anyone. If good sports fans stop paying those ridiculously high admission fees so their stadiums sat empty of anyone except the gang bangers who got free tickets they might wake up as they descended into bankruptcy.

JAYKIRK @ 4/12/2011 1:21 AM


Marty @ 4/12/2011 9:04 AM

In our nation we have aborrgated our morals and common sense of what is right, questionable, and outrightly wrong to the legions of politically correct, warm and fuzzy feel gooders.

We cannot call the individuals responsible for this henious act what they actually are - Cowards, Thieves, & Criminals. We are also prohibited to "treat" them as they should be treated once they are caught because these human wastes of oxygen have more rights than the person they victimized.

It's a real shame that a family can't go to a public venue to have a good time without the worry of being cheated, robbed, beaten, or murdered.

Rick Graves @ 4/12/2011 7:17 PM

Your absolutely right Rich. We did it like it should be done and it worked. We were too few against too many. You got it right, no tolerance for the thugs and those that make excuses for them.

Bobby @ 6/14/2011 3:50 PM

Why didn't they attack other Esa's in the same colors and see if they wouldn't strike back or put "nine" into their ass? It is simply a bully issue, a racial issue, a weakeness issue. Of couse ...even the 9 year old wanna be's could have done this. I know I am not Politically Correct but hit a group of five white guys who are wearing SF jerseys. I came into LE due to this kind of nonsense, regardless of what ethnic group were the agressor's and regardless of the rest of the world we must and still need to protect those who cannot always protect themselves. Thank you Men & Women who jam and do this everyday!!!

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

Recharging Your Batteries: The Benefits of "Unplugging"
There is certainly benefit to being current on events involving the people you consider...
Speaking on the Unspeakable: Ending the Pandemic of Police Officer Suicide
I've talked with officers who have lost a colleague to suicide—as well as many widows of...

Police Magazine