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Suspect in beating of Giants fan in custody

Times wires

LOS ANGELES - A tip from a parole officer led to the arrest Sunday of the key suspect in the attack on a Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium after the teams' season opener.

Suspect Giovanni Ramirez, 31, was detained in a morning raid on an East Hollywood apartment building and was believed to be the "primary aggressor" in the March 31 beating that left Bryan Stow with brain damage, Police Chief Charlie Beck said at an afternoon news conference at the stadium that included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Dodgers officials.

Ramirez, of Los Angeles, was later booked for assault with a deadly weapon and was being held on $1 million bail, police said in a statement.

Beck hailed the work of 20 full-time detectives who he said have pursued more than 630 leads in the case. The police chief choked back tears as he described getting a call at 7 a.m. Sunday from Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.

"He said the words I've been waiting for for seven weeks. He said that we had Bryan's assault suspect in custody," Beck said. "This is a huge step."

Ramirez was among several people detained for questioning after police served two search warrants, Los Angeles police Det. Jose Carillo said. Police said he was one of two suspects sought in the beating, along with a woman who drove them from the scene.

BYRD ON DL AFTER BEANING: The Cubs placed OF Marlon Byrd on the 15-day disabled list with multiple facial fractures, a day after he was beaned in the left eye by Red Sox LHP Alfredo Aceves and went to the hospital complaining, "I can't see."

Former Rays 1B Carlos Pena, who visited Byrd in the hospital after Saturday night's game, said his teammate was sitting up in bed, with two pizzas on his lap.

"He's doing well. He's a tough kid," Pena said. "Thank God. I'm so relieved to see him conscious."

Byrd was struck by a fastball on the left side near the ear flap on a 1-and-2 pitch. He crumpled onto his back, kicked his legs in the air then quickly got up holding his hand to his face.

"When you see an injury like that, hits you in the face, a fastball, you want to be optimistic," Pena said. "When he was walking off the field, he said, 'I can't see. My left eye.' ... It was scary."

UTLEY back tonight: Phillies 2B Chase Utley will be activated off the 15-day disabled list before tonight's game against the Reds. The five-time All-Star hasn't played this season because of tendinitis in his right knee. The Phillies will also place RHP Joe Blanton on the disabled list and recall RHP Vance Worley. The Phillies optioned infielder Pete Orr to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

RANGERS TO RELOAD: Rangers OFs Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are expected to be activated off the disabled list in time for today's home game against the White Sox. Hamilton, the former Rays prospect who was last year's AL MVP, is recovering from a broken bone in his upper right arm. Cruz is rehabbing a strained right quadriceps muscle.

DODGERS: RF Andre Ethier left the game against the White Sox with injuries to his back and toe after he ran into the outfield wall in the fourth inning. ... SS Rafael Furcal was activated from the 15-day disabled list, and INF Juan Uribe went on the DL with a lower abdominal strain.

INDIANS: Rookie RHP Alex White will be sidelined at least two months with a sprained ligament in his right middle finger.

REDS: LH reliever Aroldis Chapman, on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation, reported to Triple-A Louisville and is set to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight.

TIGERS: RH reliever Brayan Villarreal was optioned to Triple-A Toledo, and INF Carlos Guillen was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. RHP Enrique Gonzalez will take Villarreal's bullpen spot.

TWINS: LH reliever Glen Perkins went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. LHP Dusty Hughes was recalled from Triple-A Rochester.