(CBS/AP) The San Francisco Giants fan who suffered brain damage after being savagely beaten at Dodger Stadium in March is "more alert and responsive" to commands, even puckering his lips when his sister asked to kiss him, according to his family.
On their website, the family says Stow's "responses had been pretty minimal" until a recent breakthrough. Stow, a Santa Cruz paramedic, suffered severe brain injuries and remains hospitalized in San Francisco.
The family says Stow lifted his left leg slightly on command and lifted his left arm "everytime we asked if we could hold his hand."
But the "best part," says the family, is when his sister, Bonnie Stow, asked a nurse if she could kiss her brother.
"Every time she asked him, he puckered his lips," the family wrote, adding that "the nurse was shocked and excited to see that!"
The encouraging news comes as the two suspects in the beating pleaded not guilty to criminal charges Wednesday.
Defendants Louie Sanchez, 28, and Marvin Norwood, 30, are charged with mayhem, assault, battery and other counts in the beating of Stow.
Police have portrayed Sanchez as leading the assault on Stow, which came March 31 at the culmination of an alleged rampage in which Sanchez and Norwood are accused of lashing out randomly at rival Giants fans at the stadium.
Prosecutors allege Sanchez knocked Stow to the ground, then kicked the unconscious Giants fan several times in the head while Stow's friends tried to shield him with their bodies.KTLA reports on more details about Stow's progress and a fundraiser thrown for him: