Los Angeles officials released new information Thursday about an altercation in a parking lot of SoFi Stadium last weekend that left a 40-year-old Oakland man in a medically induced coma, according to reports.
Questions are also mounting ahead of the Super Bowl, about the response to the incident, including why it took so long to tell the public, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts said in a Thursday evening news conference that newly emerged surveillance video showed what he called a “small altercation that went very bad,” FOX 2 in the Bay Area reported.
He said the video shows Daniel Luna, 40, a San Francisco 49ers fan, push a Los Angeles Rams fan from behind in the parking lot and the fan turns around and punches him in the mouth, causing him to fall.
49ERS FAN IN MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA AFTER APPARENT ATTACK DURING NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The incident allegedly happened while fans were mingling in the parking lot about a half-hour into last Sunday’s NFC Championship game.
“From one punch and someone falling, hitting their head on the ground. It wasn’t like you had people ganging up on somebody and beating them,” he said of the incident, adding that the entire altercation appeared to last about five seconds.
Butts said Luna’s condition had not changed in the hospital, FOX 2 reported.
While no arrest has been made, he said investigators identified a vehicle of interest from the video that could help them identify the suspect.
Officials reportedly took three days to publicly acknowledge the incident and it was only after the newspaper inquired about it even as the stadium prepares to welcome thousands of fans when the Rams play the Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13.
Inglewood police said they started investigating the incident that night after hospital staff said marks on Luna’s body were consistent with being attacked but the Los Angles County Fire Department said police had been at the scene hours earlier, according to the Times.
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“You should put out that information to the public because the perpetrator is a public safety hazard and threat to the community,” Horace Frank, a former LAPD assistant chief told the newspaper after officials failed to mention the incident during a Wednesday press conference about coronavirus safety protocols at the stadium. “You want to get the persons responsible for this heinous attack into custody as soon as possible.”
Inglewood Police Lt. Geoffrey Meeks said the department doesn’t have “anything to hide” and there was no attempt to cover up the incident, according to the Times.
“We tend to release information when we have exhausted all other investigative leads or are looking for specific information,” he said. But the Times noted other instances when the city has asked for the public’s help only hours after an incident.
The Inglewood Police didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ late-night request for comment.