Dodgers: Slain fan was son of team security guard

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 27, 2013 at 8:43 am •  Published: September 27, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It just started as words between two groups of fans of bitter baseball rivals.

"The back and forth, 'Go Dodgers!' 'Go Giants!'" San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said Thursday. "And it deteriorated from there."

The verbal sparring Wednesday night turned physical and a man, Jonathan Denver, was fatally stabbed hours after the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Giants in San Francisco. Denver's father, Robert Preece, worked security on game days at Dodger Stadium, the team said.

"There is no rational explanation for this senseless act," the Dodgers said in a statement. "The pain that this has caused his family and friends is unimaginable."

Meanwhile, the father of suspect Michael Montgomery, accused of stabbing Denver to death, said his son told him it was done in self-defense.

Police say Denver, 24, was with his father, older brother and two other people a few blocks from the Giants' stadium after leaving the ballpark in the eighth inning of the Giants 6-4 victory when their group exchanged words with some Giants fans. The Giants fans didn't attend the game and had left a nightclub.

San Francisco police said Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi, was arrested on suspicion of homicide. Suhr said Montgomery made some "incriminating statements" while in custody that led to his arrest.

Another person, whose name was not released, was also taken into custody. Police said they were still looking for two more suspects.

But Montgomery's father said late Thursday that his son was jumped during the fight, and he stabbed Denver in self-defense.

Marty Montgomery told the Lodi News-Sentinel that his son said by phone that Denver, who was wearing Dodgers apparel, yelled, "Giants suck," at Montgomery's friend, who was wearing a Giants hat, when Denver and others hit his son and their friends without warning.

Marty Montgomery said that during the fight, Denver hit his son over the head with a chair, and in self-defense, his son, Michael, stabbed Denver.

"It was a self-defense deal," Marty Montgomery said. "(Michael) got jumped. (Denver and friends) started swinging chairs and he stabbed (Denver). (Denver) mouthed off about the San Francisco hat. It wasn't even (Michael's) hat."

The father said he had been trying to reach his son on Thursday when his son called him and told him about the fight.

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