SAN FRANCISCO — The rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers turned deadly when a fight after the division rivals played each other ended in a fatal stabbing, police said Thursday.
The altercation several blocks from the stadium Wednesday night was the second violent confrontation between the teams' fans in the past several years to end in death or serious injury. A Northern California paramedic and Giants fan suffered a traumatic brain injury after two men dressed in Dodgers gear attacked him following the teams' March 31, 2011, game in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Dodgers say the 24-year-old man who was fatally stabbed during a postgame confrontation in San Francisco was the son of one of the team's security guards.
Spokesman Jared Kaufer said Thursday that Jonathan Denver's father worked security at Dodger Stadium.
San Francisco police say Denver was walking with his father, brother and two other people not far from the San Francisco Giants' ballpark Wednesday night when their group exchanged words with some Giants fans who were leaving a nightclub.
The exchange turned physical and Denver, who was wearing Dodger gear, was stabbed to death.
Denver attended the game with his relatives but left in the eighth inning of what turned out to be a 6-4 Giants victory. His attackers did not attend the game.
Police Chief Greg Suhr says two people are in custody and one of them is facing homicide charges.
"Obviously, this is one of the most storied rivalries in baseball. That said, and I'm a big Giants fan, there is no place at these games for violence," Suhr said. "Nobody's life should be at stake whether they are at the game, leaving the game, whether it's six blocks away and an hour and a half after the game."
One of the men in custody, who is suspected of carrying out the stabbing, made incriminating statements and will face charges, the chief said.
Police have not recovered the weapon used in the attack, which was witnessed by others, Suhr said.
The Giants and Dodgers are longtime division rivals, and passions tend to run high when the teams play. The Giants won the World Series last year but are set to miss the playoffs this year. The Dodgers, on the other hand, won the division.
Denver was born in Los Angeles County but was living in Fort Bragg in Northern California, a city about 170 miles north of San Francisco, according to public records. He and his brother came to San Francisco to attend the game with their father, a big Dodgers fan who lives in Southern California, said Cas Smith, the owner of North Coast Plumbing in Fort Bragg, where Denver worked.
"He was a hardworking kid," Smith told San Jose, Calif.-based KNTV.
The Giants said in a statement that they would observe a moment of silence for Denver at Thursday's game and increase security around the ballpark.
"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 team said in a statement.
Police, too, said they planned to have more officers on the streets, although they said the police presence is already higher during Giants-Dodgers games.
Violence has marred previous contests between the teams. In 2003, Giants fan Marc Antenorcruz, 25, was fatally shot by a group of Dodgers fans after a drunken argument at Dodger Stadium.
Bryan Stow, the paramedic and Giants fan, was beaten in a parking lot after the Dodgers' 2011 home opener and spent two years in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
Two Dodgers fans are awaiting trial on charges in the beating, which sparked outrage and brought stadium security changes around the state and country.
The Giants have held occasional fundraisers for Stow. The team will donate $10 from each ticket sold in certain sections of AT&T Park at Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday's games to a fund set up for him, team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said.
Suhr, meanwhile, urged fans to be mindful of their behavior.
"Please, be respectful of everybody rooting for whoever they want to root for," he said.