New security plan set for Giants home opener

San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park

April 8, 2011 1:23:55 AM PDT
It will be a new experience for the San Francisco Giants on Friday as they celebrate their home opener as World Series champions. There's also a new focus on security after Giants fan Bryan Stow, of Scotts Valley, was nearly beaten to death last week at Dodger stadium.

AT&T Park is getting a good cleaning for Friday's opening day. It's also getting a new security plan, in response to the recent attack in Los Angeles.

"What we're going to do is we are going to be very proactive. We'll be in the stadium, in the parking lot, and around the exterior of the stadium. Any type of activities that are criminal is zero tolerance," said San Francisco Police Officer Albie Esparza.

Giants fans were appalled and angered by the attack on Stow, but fans ABC7 spoke with see any more violence as pointless.

"If they do something to somebody it's not going to be somebody related to that person, it's not going to be that person and those dudes aren't going to come down here, the dude's that did it, so?" said Giants fan Enrique Barreto.

"At the end of the day, it's just a game," said Giants fan Guy Hartman.

It is a sports game that has now changed, at least in the stands and in the stadium.

Jorge Costa is senior vice president of operations at the park. He says when the Dodgers arrive Monday the atmosphere at AT&T Park will be that of a safe place to watch a game. A strong police presence is just one aspect of that change, fan involvement is another.

"I think it's very important that the fans establish these parameters and participate in the enforcement of those parameters," said Costa.

The Giants have a text for safety plan. If a fan sees unacceptable behavior, he or she can anonymously report it by texting "8099" on a cell phone and security or police will respond.

Costa likens the stadium environment to a small city.

"I think that it's very important that the neighborhoods that work in this country work because people take ownership of the environment and contribute to the kind of environment and standard and quality of life that people want," said Costa.

Costa says there will always be those fans who will cause trouble, but they will be dealt with. Guy Hartman couldn't agree more.

"You're going to have some knuckleheads, you're going to have some knuckleheads, so to take precautions, I think that's the best thing to do," said Hartman.

Security at AT&T Park has been a concern for years. In 2008, 18-year-old Anthony Giraudo died after he was punched in the head during a post-game argument. For that incident, Taylor Buckley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail and five years probation.

In September of 2004, 21-year-old Tim Griffith was stabbed to death by Rafael Antonio Cuevas who was angry that Griffith brushed against his car. Cuevas is serving 16 years to life in prison.

Load Comments