Police have arrested the suspect in a violent altercation that badly injured a San Francisco 49ers fan after last weekend’s NFC championship game between the 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams at LA’s SoFi stadium.
Inglewood police lieutenant Nicole Loudermilk confirmed that the suspect was taken into custody Thursday night, but released no further details.
The incident occurred on Sunday during a confrontation in the parking lot of the stadium after the NFC championship game between the Rams and the 49ers, and raised concerns about security at the upcoming Super Bowl to be played at SoFi next week.
One man injured in the fight, 40-year-old Daniel Luna, remained in a medically induced coma, California officials had said Thursday.
James T Butts Jr., the Inglewood mayor, said that video of the incident showed Luna mingling in a crowd of about 16 people at SoFi stadium, most of them wearing what appeared to be 49ers jerseys, when he pushed a man wearing a Rams jersey from behind, Butts said. Before that, Butts said, “there did not seem to be any hostilities”.
When Luna turned to walk away, the man pushed Luna back, the mayor said. When Luna turned, the man punched him in the mouth, causing Luna to fall to the ground and hit the back of his head, Butts said, estimating that the encounter lasted less than five seconds.
“It looked like a small altercation that went very bad,” he said. “From one punch and someone falling, hitting their head on the ground. It was not like you had people ganging up on somebody and beating them. ”
Luna’s face was fractured and he was placed in a medically induced coma to prevent internal bleeding from swelling his brain, Butts said.
The mayor said the video is not clear enough to provide a description of the suspect but he was seen talking to some people in a car. Police want to find the car and talk to the occupants to see if they were involved, Butts said.
Security will not be increased because of the incident, the mayor said.
“I’m very comfortable there was sufficient security” in the parking lot, he said. “There is plenty of security in the parking lot. You’re not going to stop every altercation, argument between fans. It’s just not going to happen. “
Next week, the Rams will welcome the Cincinnati Bengals for Super Bowl 56 at the SoFi stadium.