Just before his trial for assault with a deadly weapon was to begin in San Diego Tuesday, an Orange County man reversed his earlier plea and said he was guilty of smashing a beer bottle over the head of a Cowboys fan in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot.
Ramon Heredia, 42, now faces up to 4 years in prison at his scheduled May 9 sentencing.
Heredia had previously been referred to as a Chargers fan, but reports by City News Service and a San Diego television station indicate the defendant, like 31-year-old victim Joshua Zumwalt, was a follower of the Cowboys.
Zumwalt testified during the case's preliminary hearing that he and some friends had a friendly encounter with Heredia's group of tailgating fans before the Sept. 29 Chargers-Cowboys game at Qualcomm. After San Diego dispatched Dallas 30-21, the 6-foot-5 Zumwalt says he was "talking trash" with some of his friends who are Chargers' fans when he believed he was sucker-punched in the side of the head.
He did not discover until later that he'd been hit once by an unknown fellow who has not been brought to justice and a second time by a beer bottle wielded by Heredia, whose attack was captured on cellphone video taken by onlookers in the stadium parking lot.