A woman is pleading for justice after her husband, a father of four, was critically injured in a fight outside Dodger Stadium Friday night.
The man, identified by his wife as Rafael Reyna, was at the game against the Diamondbacks — just the second of the season — when he left as it went into extra innings. Reyna apparently got into an argument with someone in the parking lot and was struck by the fan, according to eyewitnesses who reported the incident to stadium security.
His wife, Christel, was on the phone with her husband at the time and said all she heard was him arguing with someone, a loud crack and then her husband moaning.
“He was hit and his head hit the ground and caused a skull fracture, and now his brain is swelling. He’s bleeding on the brain,” Christel Reyna told Los Angeles ABC station KABC.
Rafael Reyna is currently on life support at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, his wife said.
The two have four kids, including an adult son who is 22, and three others between the ages of 11 and 15.
Police said they believe the suspect was in his 20s and drove off in a white SUV.
“It hurts my heart,” an emotional Christel Reyna said. “This isn’t supposed to happen. This isn’t how you’re supposed to live your life.”
The team said in a statement Saturday it was aware of the incident and cooperating with police.
“Last night, an altercation occurred suddenly between two men who were leaving the stadium,” the Dodgers said. “One of the men was injured as a result of the altercation. A witness immediately reported the incident to stadium personnel, and emergency medical technicians were promptly dispatched to provide medical assistance at the scene. The matter is now being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Dodgers are cooperating fully with the investigation.”
Just a day before the fight, on Opening Day, the Los Angeles Police Department had released a warning about safety at the park.
“In addition to parking enforcement, LAPD officers will be patrolling the area to enforce the no tolerance policy for drinking in public or in the parks,” the department said. “Dodger fans are also reminded that there is no tailgating in the parking lots of Dodger Stadium.”
It continued, “Everyone in attendance on opening day deserves a safe and fun-filled day of baseball, so please respect the neighborhood and stay safe.”
The Dodgers stepped up security outside Dodger Stadium following a much-publicized fight on Opening Day in 2011. Bryan Stow, an off-duty paramedic and San Francisco Giants fan, was attacked by several men in Dodgers jerseys. Stow, who was placed in a medically induced coma after the attack, hit his head on the pavement and was repeatedly punched and kicked, according to authorities.
Two men involved in that attack pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison in 2014.