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Orange County Register (California)

Los Angeles seemed to breathe a sigh of relief Wednesday as a jury ruled the Dodgers organization was partly responsible for the beating of Bryan Stow after a game by two fans, awarding him nearly $18 million.

But one City Council member wishes the new Dodgers owners had just avoided court.

RELATED: Dodger Stadium Beating Victim Wins $18M Jury Award

"I think the original beating was a black eye, both for the Dodgers and for the city," L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz said by phone. "The new Dodger ownership (should have asked) what's a fair share and just paid it. The fact that they were fighting it in court has been somewhat of a disappointment to me."

Koretz said the new owners - a group that includes Magic Johnson - have been wonderful in just about every way and acknowledged that the Dodgers have responded well to the incident by adding more security. But he questioned whether the assault could have been avoided.

"Frankly, I'm not sure how much negligence there was," Koretz said. "I'm not sure that you could have anticipated anything like this until it happened. But for goodwill and good image, the Dodgers should have just paid it, whether they really thought they were responsible or not."

Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was beaten in a parking lot by two Dodgers fans in 2011, sending him into a coma and leaving him with permanent brain damage. The attackers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison.

Councilman Mitchell Englander said: "My heart goes out to Bryan and his entire family. Hopefully, this justified verdict will give them closure and the resources to restore at least some ability to live a quality life."

Local Dodgers fans acknowledged Wednesday that the stadium can be a dangerous place for outsiders.

San Fernando Valley resident Michal Prieto said he can empathize with Stow. He said that when he was 13, he "almost got killed" at a Dodgers game for wearing a Yankees jersey, after fans followed his family in the parking lot and taunted them, punching the window of their car as they drove out of the stadium.

"The fans act like it's a gang," Prieto, 24, said.

Franklin Conde, of Santa Monica, said he didn't think the ruling or the beating would deter him or others from going to games, but that opposing fans should always be careful as he'd heard of other incidents at other games.

July 11, 2014
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