Candlestick Beating Victims Making Progress As Search For Suspects Continues
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A man brutally beaten at a Candlestick Park bathroom during a preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders on Saturday has been transferred to a different hospital and remains in fair condition, according to San Francisco General Hospital officials.
The 26-year-old San Rafael man was transferred Monday evening. He was one of several victims of a rash of violence throughout Candlestick Park that night, which included two shootings in the parking lot at around 8 p.m.
One of the shooting victims, a 25-year-old man, remains in fair condition at San Francisco General Hospital today. The other, another man in his 20s, suffered less serious wounds and was not in hospital care as of Monday.
Police are seeking a person of interest in one of the shootings, which are being treated as separate incidents.
The beating victim was assaulted and knocked unconscious in an upper-level restroom between 7:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
Police are seeking a suspect in the incident, described as a Pacific Islander man between 25 and 30 years old, between 6 foot 3 inches and 6 foot 5 inches tall, and weighing 225 to 260 pounds. He had a goatee and long curly hair tied up in a ponytail, and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
In response to the violence, the 49ers are recommending the NFL suspend the annual preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.
“It’s our belief that we should recommend to the NFL that this game is at least postponed for some period of time,” 49ers president Jed York said at a news conference at the stadium Monday.
In addition, 49ers officials said that the team would tighten security at Candlestick Park.
“The degenerate behavior that happened on Saturday is not going to be tolerated,” York said. “We are not going to allow that type of behavior at our football games.”
Former Raider Head Coach John Madden told the KCBS morning crew that ending the rivalry game is not the best way to put a stop to violence at the stadium, and said that the incidents are a symptom of a declining overall fan experience.
KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier said a lot of the problem was the Niners-Raiders game had a very different crowd than normal.
“It was the have-nots that showed up. That $70 cheap ticket for a regular season game and some of the more expensive tickets, they were going for $30-40 for the exhibition game on the Internet,” Matier said. “This was the classic case of a whole different crowd showing up and this was the result.”
KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:
Team officials said they will crack down on tailgating as well to curb unruly behavior. Tailgating will be permitted before games but not during or after the game, Vice President of Stadium Operations and Security Jim Mercurio said.
Anyone still in the parking lot once a game has started will be asked to either enter the stadium or leave the parking lot.
Several other fights in the stands and in the parking lot were caught on amateur video and police Chief Greg Suhr said that this was not typical behavior.
“Last Saturday night was an aberration,” he said.
Saturday’s attendance was a third less than a typical regular
season game and Suhr said that there were 40 percent more officers at Saturday’s game than would be at a regular season game.
Despite that, he said, the amount of calls for unruly conduct rose dramatically.
“It appeared very early on that the people weren’t here to see the game,” Suhr said. “They were more inclined to engage with other people in the crowd.”
Police booked 12 people Saturday, while the average is one or two per game.
There are normally seven to 10 calls made for an ambulance but Saturday saw 50 such calls and the number of public intoxications more than doubled, Suhr said.
“In my 19 years of doing this, never have I had to deal with the amount of calls for service, the amount of fights, the amount of behavior that is absolutely not accepted,” Mercurio said.
Ticket holders who show a pattern of unacceptable behavior could have their tickets revoked, Mercurio said.
Season ticket holders were encouraged to be careful if they sell their tickets.
“They need to pay attention to how their tickets are being exchanged,” Lee said.
Mercurio said police will be more visible and an alcohol management team will be roaming the parking lot as an added precaution.
Police will also be implementing a DUI checkpoint after 49er home games, Suhr said.
There will be no scheduling changes to the 49ers’ upcoming Saturday game against the Houston Texans. The game will air on KPIX-TV CBS 5 at 5 p.m.
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