San Francisco police have identified 21-year-old Michael Montgomery as the man arrested for allegedly fatally stabbing a Los Angeles Dodgers fan near AT&T Park on Wednesday night. Montgomery, a Lodi resident, was arrested on suspicion of killing Jonathan Denver, 24, around 11:35 p.m. Wednesday near Third and Harrison streets, four blocks from where Denver and his family members had watched a game between the Giants and Dodgers earlier in the night. No other information about the suspect was immediately released by police.
Denver, who was wearing Dodgers clothing and whose father is a security guard for the team, was apparently stabbed after an argument related to the rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants, San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said today. Suhr said Denver was with his father, brother and two other people at the Giants-Dodgers game but had left with them in the eighth inning and gone to a nearby bar. After exiting the bar, the group encountered a group of Giants fans and there was “a back-and-forth” about the teams’ rivalry, Suhr said.
A minor fight erupted but was quickly broken up, the chief said. Suhr said that what happened next remains unclear, but that one of the groups followed the other group and a second altercation ensued minutes later, during which Denver was stabbed. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died. Suhr said two people were detained a short time later at Second and Howard streets and, during questioning by police, one “made incriminating statements” about the case.
The death of Denver, who worked as a plumber’s apprentice for North Coast Plumbing, Heating & Sheet Metal Inc. in Fort Bragg, is the latest violent incident to mar the Giants-Dodgers rivalry. In 2011, Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten after the team’s season opener at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and suffered severe brain injuries. Two people have been charged in the beating and are awaiting trial. The Dodgers issued a statement this afternoon about the death. “There is no rational explanation for this senseless act which resulted in Jonathan’s death,” team officials wrote. “The pain that this has caused his family and friends is unimaginable. Words are not enough to describe our sadness.”
The Giants also released a statement about the killing. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” the Giants’ statement said. “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 said they would observe a moment of silence in honor of Denver before today’s 7:15 p.m. game.
The team is also holding a fundraiser for Stow after holding an earlier one on Tuesday. Another is also planned for the team’s season finale on Sunday against the San Diego Padres. Suhr said police will continue sending undercover officers wearing Dodgers gear to tonight’s game, along with other plainclothes officers, to ensure safety in and around the ballpark. “There’s no place at these games for violence,” he said. “Nobody’s life should be at stake.”
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