Inglewood police seek DA review of SoFi fan assault; Suspect out on bail
Inglewood police plan to ask the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to review the case against a suspect who was arrested and later released on bail in connection with a fight outside SoFi Stadium that left a San Francisco 49ers fan in a medically induced coma.
Bryan Alexis Cifuentes-Rossell, 33, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of “assault by means to produce great bodily injury,” and was released on $30,000 bail about 1 a.m. Friday, Inglewood Mayor James Butts said at a news conference at Inglewood City Hall.
According to Butts, investigators were able to track down Cifuentes- Rossell — who works in Montebello — through surveillance video from the SoFi Stadium parking lot that captured footage of a suspect vehicle license plate.
Cifuentes-Rossell eventually contacted Inglewood police on Thursday, and he was asked to come to the Inglewood police station to be interviewed.
“He declined, but said he would talk to the officers in Montebello,” Butts said. “Officers went to his location, and he voluntarily accompanied them to the Inglewood Police Department, where he received his Miranda admonition and was interviewed. After the interview, he was placed under arrest.”
Butts declined to elaborate on the statement Cifuentes-Rossell gave to police, but media reports indicate he cited self-defense was a factor in the fight.
“The victim is in stable condition,” Butts said. “As of this briefing, his condition has not improved or degraded. … He’s in a medically induced coma.”
Daniel Luna, 40, who was wearing a 49ers jersey, was found injured in Parking Lot L of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood around 4 p.m. Sunday — about 30 minutes after the start of the Rams’ 20-17 victory over San Francisco that advanced them to Super Bowl LVI, which will also be held at SoFi.
Luna, who was found by a security guard in the parking lot, was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he was placed in a medically induced coma with injuries to his face and upper body. Due to the nature of Luna’s injuries, hospital officials notified Inglewood police about three hours after the altercation took place.
Butts said Luna “was wearing a white jersey that some think was a throwback 49ers jersey, and the other individual, Mr. Alexis, was wearing a yellow — appeared to be a Rams jersey.”
Citing surveillance video from the parking lot, Butts said Luna shoved Cifuentes-Rossell from behind during what appeared to be a tailgate gathering of primarily 49ers fans outside Sunday’s NFC championship game.
“The suspect then retaliated by pushing Mr. Luna from behind, and then struck (him) once in the mouth area,” Butts said. “Luna then fell to the ground, where he was later found by security personnel who summoned paramedics.”
Butts said Luna’s head struck the pavement when he landed.
The altercation was eerily reminiscent of the 2011 beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in a Dodger Stadium parking lot. Stow was left with permanent brain damage.
However, a cousin of the suspect arrested in connection with the SoFi Stadium altercation told KTLA5 Friday morning that the attack was not related to a fan rivalry, claiming instead that Luna sparked the fight because he was intoxicated. He told the station the suspect was with a group of fans of both the Rams and 49ers.
Butts said the incident does not raise any concerns about stadium security ahead of the Feb. 13 Super Bowl.
“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about,” Butts said. “The reality is that this was a … two-shove, one-punch altercation. The greatest damage was done because he (Luna) landed on the back of his head on the pavement. So I don’t think this has any implications for safety.”
On Thursday night, Butts deflected suggestions that the city and police delayed or attempted to downplay reports of Luna’s assault during Super Bowl preparations. Butts said authorities knew a person was injured outside the stadium, but only learned a potential crime had occurred after reviewing the security footage.
“To be blunt about it, it looked like a small altercation that went very bad from one punch and someone hitting their head on the ground,” said Butts, a former Santa Monica Police Department chief and a deputy chief with the Inglewood Police Department.
SoFi Stadium officials issued a statement Thursday saying, “We are aware and saddened by the incident. Our thoughts are with Mr. Luna’s friends and family during this difficult time. We are working with law enforcement officials in their investigation.”
Former Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Horace Frank told the Los Angeles Times authorities should have been more transparent about the circumstances around Luna’s beating.
“You should have put out that information to the public because the perpetrator is a public safety hazard and a threat to the community,” Frank, who oversaw major game operations, told The Times. “You want to get the persons responsible for this heinous attack into custody as soon as possible.”
The 49ers issued a statement Thursday, saying, “What happened to Daniel Luna is reprehensible and we strongly condemn all violence. We know local authorities are conducting a full investigation and we’re here to support them however we can. Our thoughts and prayers go to Mr. Luna, his family, friends, and the medical team providing him care.”
Luna, 40, flew to Los Angeles and attended the game alone after other fans who were to accompany him canceled, The Times reported. He owns the Oakland Peruvian fusion restaurant Mistura.