June 25, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Attacking Fan in Dodger Stadium Parking Lot

The attack led to questions about the adequacy of security at Dodger Stadium.
The attack led to questions about the adequacy of security at Dodger Stadium.

A Palos Verdes Estates man pleaded not guilty today to assaulting a man in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium after a Dodgers-Mets game last October.

Michael Rae Papayans, 27, is charged with a felony count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, with an allegation that he caused great bodily injury.

Papayans is accused of punching a 50-year-old man in the head, knocking him unconscious after the Oct. 9 game. As the man fell to the ground, he struck his head on the pavement, causing him to sustain serious head injuries, prosecutors said.

Papayans’ mother allegedly kicked the man in the back while he was on the ground, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors referred a potential case against her to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to determine if a misdemeanor case should be filed. A spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office could not be reached for immediate comment on whether city prosecutors are still reviewing the potential case against the woman, whose name was not disclosed.

She allegedly yelled epithets at a group of four people — one of whom was wearing Mets attire — as they headed to their car in Lot L after the game, in which the Mets defeated the Dodgers 3-1.

Her son allegedly joined in the verbal dispute with the group before punching the man, who was not in Mets attire, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Papayans was arrested Feb. 11 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, then released the next day on a $30,000 bond.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra ordered Papayans to return to court April 27, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to seven years in state prison.

Four days after the attack, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck appealed for the public’s assistance in tracking down the perpetrators, saying, “We believe it is a son and mother who are responsible for this assault.”

The attack was reminiscent of the March 31, 2011, assault on San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium. Stow was involved in a post-game confrontation in the parking lot and fell to the ground, cracking his skull on the pavement.

The former paramedic and father of two eventually regained consciousness, but suffered permanent brain damage.

Two men pleaded guilty to attacking Stow and were sentenced to state prison in a case handled by Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, who is also assigned to the Papayans case.

The Stow attack led to questions about the adequacy of security at Dodger Stadium. He sued the team and was awarded $18 million.

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