Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. File photo
Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. File photo

A Palos Verdes Estates man pleaded no contest to an assault charge Wednesday for punching a man in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium after a Dodgers-Mets game.

Michael Rae Papayans, 28, entered his plea to a felony count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and admitted an allegation that he caused great bodily injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The case against Papayans is expected to be reduced to a misdemeanor if he serves 14 days in jail, pays more than $100,000 in restitution to the victim and completes 80 days of community service and an anger management course, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

He is set to be sentenced next Feb. 22.

Papayans punched the then-50-year-old victim in the head, knocking him unconscious after a Oct. 9, 2015, game. As the man fell to the ground, he struck his head on the pavement, causing him to sustain serious head injuries, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The attack in parking lot L shortly after the Mets defeated the Dodgers 3-1. The assault victim had been among a group of four people — one of whom was wearing Mets attire — who were confronted by Papayans’ mother as they walked to their car, and her son joined in a verbal dispute with the group before punching the man, who was not in Mets attire, according to prosecutors.

Four days after the attack, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck asked for the public’s help in solving the case.

Papayans was arrested last February by the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, then released the next day on a $30,000 bond.

The attack was reminiscent of the March 31, 2011, assault of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium. Stow was involved in a post-game confrontation in the parking lot and fell to the ground, cracking his skull on the pavement.

Stow eventually regained consciousness and survived but suffered permanent brain damage.

Two men pleaded guilty to attacking Stow and were sentenced to state prison in a case handled by Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, who is also assigned to the Papayans case.

That attack led to questions about the adequacy of security at Dodger Stadium. Stow sued the team and was awarded $18 million.

— City News Service


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