Patrick Healy & Kristopher Li
The first suspect in the Bryan Stow beating speaks to the media for the first time since being released from prison on a parole violation. NBC4's Patrick Healy reports.
Giovanni Ramirez is again a free man, able to put his arms around his mother and his daughter, now 10. But he is recognized on the street is that guy arrested for the infamous Dodger Stadium beating of a visiting spectator.
Ramirez was later exonerated, but he said that did not fix everything.
"They caused some severe damage," Ramirez said. "I don’t know what to say. All I know is I’m gonna keep moving forward and be as productive as I can."
LAPD took Ramirez into custody nearly 10 months ago. He was staying at a friend's apartment when officers arrived and ordered everyone inside to come out.
"I couldn’t begin to describe to you what I feel," he said during a news conference in the office of one of his lawyers. "I had no clue what was going on."
Several prominent attorneys believed police had the wrong man and arranged for Ramirez to take lie detector tests. It was not until after arresting two different suspects that police announced Ramirez had been exonerated of any involvement in the Stow beating.
"I’m very upset," Ramirez said. "I really am."
As a parolee then, Ramirez went to prison for being in violation of his parole, related to authorities finding a gun in a laundry basket at the apartment where he was arrested.
"I was angry about that, too. How can you just go to jail for something I had no knowledge of?"
Ramirez would not say if he would pursue damages from the city, nor would any of the four attorneys at the news conference.
After the news conference, one of the Ramirez lawyers, David Arredondo, said he believes some of the comments made by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were defamatory.
Chief Beck has said the arrest of Ramirez was "regrettable," but defended the department's handling of the case, continuing to investigate until more information was uncovered.
The two suspects arrested last July, Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, remain in custody awaiting their preliminary hearing. Both have entered not guilty pleas.