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Home > Topics > Violence

Doctor: Bryan Stow's BAC twice legal limit

Stow's attorneys have argued this has no bearing on the case, and say the attack that left him brain damaged resulted from inadequate security and lighting

By Corina Knoll
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The doctor who oversaw lab tests on San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow the night of his attack at Dodger Stadium testified Wednesday that the beating victim’s blood-alcohol level could have been nearly twice the legal limit for driving.

Tests taken the night of March 31, 2011, showed that Stow’s blood-alcohol level was between 0.139% and 0.157%, said Dr. Michael Chan of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

According to earlier testimony, Stow consumed beer before the game, had an additional three to four during it and at one point became inebriated.

But Stow’s attorneys have argued that this has no bearing on the case. Although the state legal limit to drive is .08%, their client and his friends had taken a cab to the Dodgers game that day and were on their way to hail another one to get back to their hotel.

“There’s no legal limit on anybody if you’re not going to be driving a car,” attorney Thomas Girardi said in his opening statement three weeks ago.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Stow, who suffered severe brain injuries after being punched and kicked by two Dodgers fans, alleges that his attack resulted from inadequate security and lighting on opening day.

Defense attorneys have attempted to show that Stow was not without fault, zeroing in on testimony that he was intoxicated and instigated confrontations with Dodgers fans.

Jesus Hernandez, a parking lot witness, testified he saw Stow yelling at someone with his hands up as he left the stadium. “He was loud and he sounded mad,” Hernandez said.

He also said that the lighting in the parking lot was “normal” and good enough for him to make out Stow’s face at night.

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” it was him, Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he went to his car in Parking Lot 2 when he noticed people gathering around someone on the ground. It was Stow again, he said.

“You could see the white part of his eyes, they were just rolled back,” he testified.

During cross-examination, Hernandez said he did not hear what Stow had shouted and affirmed his earlier deposition in which he said Stow had not appeared threatening at the time.

Girardi also pressed Hernandez on his initial description to police that described Stow as wearing a gray Giants jersey and a hat. Girardi pointed out that Stow had not worn a hat that night and was wearing a black jersey.

An LAPD detective called as a witness last week by the plaintiffs said he had determined that Stow did not provoke anyone that night and that Hernandez had seen a different man raising his arms in the air.

Another witness testified Wednesday that Stow made a loud, crude remark during the game about Dodger Dogs.

Juan Banda said he sat near Stow and his friends, who could be heard making comments. “They would say funny stuff, we would all laugh. [It was] of good nature. It was nothing objectionable.”

But then Stow made his derogatory statement about the stadium's eponymous hot dog.

“I got up and approached him and I made a statement to him. I told him it was one thing to root for his team and another to be obnoxious and obscene and that he was crossing the line,” Banda testified. 

Banda said Stow did not respond, only motioned with his hands in a sign of passiveness. Banda said the Giants fan was so quiet throughout the rest of the game that he kept turning around to see if he was still there.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
©2014 the Los Angeles Times

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Carol Elaine Brown Carol Elaine Brown Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:33:24 PM This makes me furious. His BAC had not one damn thing to do with his attack. EMTs are as entitled to have some beers just like anyone else. He wasnt on duty, so they can just screw off with that stuff. Theyre grasping at proverbial straws to get those losers some sort of justification for their actions. Bulls*it.
Bianca May Bianca May Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:41:52 PM Even if he was drunk or whatever, NO ONE has the right to beat someone up for wearing an opposing teams clothing? The two are NOT related.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:28:39 PM Do you know what you are talking about or did you not even bother to read the article. The trial is over. The two men who beat him are in prison. THE FAMILY IS SUING THE STADIUM AND THE DODGERS! NOT THE TWO GUYS WHO BEAT BRYAN. Being an EMT or not, at some point in your life you must accept responsibility for your own safety. Getting drunk in public and making rude comments to others may not be the wisest. If this guy wasn't a Paramedic you probably would not have given a crap about what happened or maybe thought he was just some jerk who got beat up.

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