Son of Dodger Security Guard Fatally Stabbed After Giants Game in SF
A 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Dodgers fan following a Giants game in San Francisco, police confirmed Thursday evening.
Michael Montgomery, of Lodi, was booked on suspicion of homicide in the slaying of Jonathan Denver, San Francisco police said.
Another man was also arrested but was released without being charged, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Two other men were still being sought, according to the newspaper.
Denver, whose father works as a security guard for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was stabbed to death near AT&T Park in San Francisco Wednesday night when a fight broke out about 90 minutes after a Dodgers-Giants game.
The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as 24-year-old Jonathan Denver of Fort Bragg, in Northern California.
Robert Preece, Denver’s father, is an Alhambra resident who is often seen on television because his security guard post is behind home plate at Dodger Stadium, the older man’s neighbor said. Preece was also a guard during Lakers and Clippers games, the neighbor, Louie Padilla, said.
The victim — who was wearing Dodger apparel at the time of the incident — stopped at a local bar with his father, his father’s girlfriend, his brother and another man after leaving the game in the eighth inning, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said in a news conference Thursday.
They left the bar abound 11:30 p.m. and walked on Third Street toward Harrison Street when they came across a group of people who had just left a nearby nightclub, Suhr said.
The two groups, one with Denver wearing Dodgers gear, and the other with a man wearing a Giants hat, began to argue about the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, according to Suhr.
That argument turned into a physical altercation in which no one was seriously hurt, Suhr said.
Some members of one group — it was unclear which — followed the other group and a second brawl occurred within minutes, according to Suhr.
After the altercation, Denver realized he had been stabbed and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died, Sgt. Danielle Newman of the San Francisco Police Department said.
None of the people detained or sought in the killing attended the game, investigators said.
Denver was a plumber’s apprentice at North Coast Plumbing and Heating in Fort Bragg in Mendocino County, his employer told the San Jose Mercury News.
The Dodgers released a statement Thursday: “The Dodgers are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Jonathan Denver, who is the son of one of our security guards. There is no rational explanation for this senseless act which resulted in Jonathan’s death. The pain that this has caused his family and friends is unimaginable. Words are not enough to describe our sadness. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this extremely difficult time.”
The San Francisco Giants also issued a statement: “We were deeply saddened to learn of last night’s horrific incident that occurred several blocks from the ballpark and resulted in the tragic death of 24-year old Jonathan Denver. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. While details are still emerging, we want to be clear that there is absolutely no place in our community for this type of senseless violence.”
The Giants planned to honor Denver prior to Thursday night’s game against the Dodgers, the club announced on Twitter.
The Giants were working with the San Francisco Police Department to step up security around the ballpark for the rest of their home stand, according to the club. The increased security would include officers in Dodger apparel and would go beyond the police department’s regular “rivalry package,” Suhr said.
“Please be respectful of everybody wanting to root for whoever they want to root for,” Suhr said. “It’s just a game.”
Violent confrontations between fans of the long-time rivals are not unusual.
The most notorious incident took place in 2011 when Giants fan Bryan Stow suffered a traumatic brain injury after he was beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, Stow’s sister Bonnie Stow said, “We are saddened by this senseless killing and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family.”