April 7, 2011 / 2:31 AM / 8 years ago

Dodgers hire ex-L.A. police chief after attack on fan

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Dodgers, under fire over the brutal beating of a Giants fan on opening day, said on Wednesday they have hired former police chief William Bratton to review the team’s stadium security.

Bratton, who headed the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009, is also a former police commissioner for New York and Boston.

“Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America,” Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said in a statement.

“There is no one better to lead a top-to-bottom review of our current practices, and make recommendations to be implemented now and into the future,” he added.

Bratton’s hiring comes after two men dressed in Dodgers gear beat up a San Francisco Giants fan, Bryan Stow, at an opening day game last week.

The attack on Stow, a 42-year-old father-of-two who was with friends and dressed in Giants apparel, has drawn calls for more civility at ball games.

The Giants and Dodgers have one of the fiercest rivalries in sports, which dates back to the 19th century when the teams were both based in New York.

This is not the first violent attack against a Giants fan at Dodger Stadium. In 2003, a Giants fan was shot and killed in the parking lot.

A reward of at least $100,000, most of it provided by Los Angeles-area governments, has been established for information leading to the arrest of the two men who attacked Stow.

“We’re getting some good leads and we’re following up on all of them,” Los Angeles police detective Lisa Golverno said earlier this week.

Stow just kept walking away when the two young men taunted him, but they still attacked, Golverno said. They then jumped into a car driven by a woman, with a boy inside, she said.

Some commentators suggested the atmosphere at Dodger Stadium can be rowdy at times. But McCourt until recently downplayed the idea the beating showed a security lapse.

“You could have 2,000 policemen there, and it’s just not going to change that random act of violence,” McCourt said on Saturday.

Bratton is popular figure in the news media, and in 2009 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth gave him the honorary title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Editing by Tim Gaynor

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