Candlestick Beating Victim Transferred to New Hospital

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011  |  Updated 1:20 PM PDT
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Candlestick Beating Victim Transferred to New Hospital

AP

A Raiders play looks to the stands as 49ers and Raiders fans fight during a game between the two teams at Candlestick Park on Saturday. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

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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."

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.

Below is the letter written by Jed York to season ticket holders:

Dear 49ers season ticket holders, fans, and the San Francisco community at large:

I believe I speak for all of us when I denounce the violent acts that occurred this past Saturday at Candlestick Park. Whether in a stadium parking lot, on public transportation, or on a neighborhood block, violence in our community is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Public safety is our top priority. Once apprehended, the attackers from Saturday’s unfortunate incidents will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Further, earlier today we announced extended safety measures to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.

Thankfully, as of this afternoon, the injured men are now in stable condition. I hope this brings some comfort to their respective families and loved ones. I know all of us at the 49ers organization are praying for their speedy and full recovery.

Football is the most popular sport in our country. And, the 49ers franchise is one of the most storied in the NFL. To have the game my family and I love so much tarnished in this way is disheartening.  After careful evaluation with San Francisco Chief of Police, Greg Suhr, and our Stadium Operations team, I will be recommending to the NFL that we suspend the preseason series between the 49ers and Oakland Raiders. Both teams will continue to collaborate on club and league business and actively work together within the entire Bay Area community.

Beyond the steps we are taking as an organization, my hope is that we, as a community of football and 49ers fans, will rise above these outrageous acts. I ask you to respect your fellow fan.

We have another game at Candlestick Park this Saturday vs. the Houston Texans at 5:00 PM. Please join me there in setting the proper example for our Youth/USA Football celebration.  

Sincerely,

Jed York
President & CEO
San Francisco 49ers

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