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Dodgers, Giants rivalry put aside for injured fan

As the rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants gets heated, fans and non-fans alike are shifting gears and taking part in a fundraiser for Bryan Stow.

April 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
As the rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants gets heated, fans and non-fans alike took part in a fundraiser Monday for the Giants fan that was brutally beaten at the Dodgers home opener.

Donations were taken at parking lot No. 1 at Dodger Stadium. Workers at the drive-through event accepted cash and checks made out to Bryan Stow's family. The fundraiser lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Dodgers beat the Giants in San Francisco, 6-1.

Stow, 42, of Santa Cruz remains in a medically induced coma in critical condition after allegedly being brutally beaten by two Dodger fans after the opening-day game on March 31.

The suspects are still at large.

A consistent flow of Dodger supporters came out Monday to root for a fan of L.A.'s biggest rival.

"I'm a big Dodger fan and it's really sad. It makes us look bad," said Elana Santana, a Studio City resident.

Monday afternoon Dodger icon Tommy Lasorda donated $5,000 to Stow's family as part of the fundraiser. He railed against the two men behind the attack, struggling at one point to keep his emotions in check.

Los Angeles city and county elected officials joined Lasorda at the fundraiser.

Some people said they no longer feel safe watching baseball at Dodger Stadium.

"This is something that I wouldn't take my kids to, because I know how it gets here," said Veronica Gallegos, a Los Angeles resident.

The event was hosted by the Dodgers and the American Medical Response, who employ Stow as a paramedic. Dozens of emergency medical technicians from San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties came out to volunteer for the fundraiser.

"It's kind of a brotherhood. We do the same job. We feel for him and his family," said Gabriel Soriano, an EMT.

Those at the event said they hope there is never a need for a drive like this again.

"We should be able to root for whoever we want to root for. What is a game if my team can't play your team?" said Patricia Jackson, a South Los Angeles resident.

The fundraiser comes as the Dodgers face the Giants in a three-game series in San Francisco.

On Craigslist, many users are calling for violent retaliation against Dodger fans. Some have even posted racist, anti-Mexican rants.

At AT&T Park Monday, there was a higher security presence, which in the history of the ball park has only been seen during the World Series.

The San Francisco Police Department assigned 40 percent more security personnel including extra officers in uniform, in street clothes and even on boats.

"Even above and beyond a normal Dodger game, we've gone above and beyond that. And we know going into it that there is a percentage of people that are not interested in the game and are here for their own objectives irrelevant of the game, and there is no room for that," said Jorge Costa, the vice president of security for the San Francisco Giants.

However, baseball fans in San Francisco were not too worried about Monday's game.

"I don't expect that we'll have trouble. I think we're a little more civilized than some of the people in Los Angeles," said Sam Perea, a Giants fan.

Fans also said they're not afraid to sport Dodger blue.

"I've been told not to wear this, but I just figure that's what the sport is all about. You wear who you're rooting for," said Sue Meyer, a Dodgers fan wearing a Dodgers sweatshirt in San Francisco.

A fundraiser in San Francisco was planned to coincide with the one in L.A.

Meantime, extra security was scheduled to be in place in Los Angeles when the Dodgers return from the road on Thursday.

Authorities are still searching for Stow's attackers and are offering a $150,000 reward.

If you have any information about the suspects, you're urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department at (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

KGO reporter Terry McSweeney contributed to this report.

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