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At least 25 arrested amid unrest after Lakers victory


[Updated 11:50 p.m.:  The LAPD says at least 25 people have been arrested.]

What started as a celebration of the Lakers' NBA Championship turned ugly when some revelers in downtown Los Angeles sparked fires, vandalized cars and buildings, set off fireworks, looted stores and clashed with police.

At least eight people were arrested, most at the Staples Center and a few others at a smaller gathering in the Crenshaw District, Los Angeles Police Department  officials said.  Most arrests involved disturbing the peace but there was one arson case.

Authorities said several police cars were damaged along with several MTA buses and a KABC-TV Channel 7 news van. Some fans marched up an onramp to the 110 Freeway and cheered passing cars. 

There were also scattered reports of looting.  A crowd broke the window of shoe store and ran through a gas station mini-mart, stealing products. 

By 11 p.m., the crowd -- which once measured more than 1,000 -- had thinned out, and police were trying to break up small groups of Lakers fans causing trouble. Earlier, groups roamed the streets around the Staples Center, shaking passing cars and throwing debris. The situation worsened as Lakers fans in cars poured into the South Park area, some waving Lakers flags and cheering. 

LAPD Chief William J. Bratton told KTTV Channel 11 that the crowd threw rocks and bottles at some officers and that he was proud of his department's response. He described the people causing the problems as "knuckleheads" and "cowards."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were out in force in East Los Angeles, where some fans got out of hand after a Lakers victory last week. Celebrants were on the streets cheering and setting off some fireworks, but deputies reported no major problems.  Deputies did close Whittier Boulevard for a while.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz at Staples Center and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (102)

Looks like Kobe can have his day before Roy and the Rip City revolution take over as the new west coast dynasty in 2010. Phil will be the one with the depressing face when the curse of the rose garden comes full circle this season.

Only 8 arrests out of how many criminals? 1,000?

LAPD should be shooting first, asking questions later. These people are all guilty of something.

Once more the degenerates destroy the city because of a stupid basket ball game! Pathetic!

I wish people would stop referring to these trouble makers as Lakers fans. They are NOT Lakers fans. They are simply thugs looking for an excuse to loot and destroy property. I'll bet the ones that were arrested can't even tell you the names of the Lakers starting five.

I wonder if the lakers endorse this activity....

I guess LA's unwashed masses need their fun too...

Stay classy, Los Angeles.

And this was supposed to be a celebration? I do hope that the news media, including the LA Times, posts the names and photographs of ALL PERSONS involved in the rioting.

come on laker fans, be classy. also, what's up with the looting during the recession? you're prob killing those businesses. give love to the lakers, and love to l.a.... if you want to loot, go do it in boston haha!

Way to go Laker fan. Way to show the world you're ignorant animals with no sense of self control. Way to go LA Police. Way to show you have no balls at all at enforcing the law and order on the streets. Where were the tear gas? Where were the water cannons? Where were the rubber bullets? Was this a celebration or a rerun of the Rodney King riots?

How embarrassing. they obviously didn't learn anything from the years prior. Cowards, maybe. Stupid? definitely.

I love L.A.

Animals, cjange you can believe in supporters.

The same loser thugs who ruined the Raiders for respectable people are well on their way to doing the same for the Lakers. Soon enough, NO decent folks will come downtown -- or bring their families downtown -- and put their lives at risk for a sports event.

Attention civic officials: this is why the city needs a parade, to give an appropriate outlet for everybody's emotion. No parade, no peace.

La County Sheriffs were not afraid to show there force and challenge anyone who may have gotten out of hand quickly forcefully and surgically. LAPD allowed people to develop and implement a mob mentality and execute there terrorist actions for several hours leaving citizens and property free to be destroyed at there will. LAPD is still not smart enough to keep people back to protect there property and allow people to vandalize Our City Equipment. It's not that the LAPD can't win, it's that they fail at both extremes. Either to much force or not enough, They can't manage to stop beating reporters or control gang bangers and terrorists the number of mistakes they made last night are in the hundreds, yet they still think they did a good job. Attempted Train Derailments, Felony vandalism Arson Assault with deadly weapons, these are more then knuckleheads these are felons.

These jerks give Los Angeles an international reputation as "THUGTOWN". What kind of celebration is it to throw bottles and rocks at a bus while people are aboard, loot stores, or set fires? These guys are lowlife thugs. The damage they inflict on the reputation of LA exceed by far the property damages done.

Each one of them should have been summarily executed on the spot.
Kole in Dallas

Such class in LA. Next time the Times should replay how San Antonio celebrates WITH class. Of course the bottom feeders use any excuse to steal. Congrats to the Lakers!

You see Chief Bratton, the City really is a safe as it was in 1956!

That's weren't fan's ....That was some idiots . real fans either stay home or celebrated and then went home...

Great victory but how unfortunate that the underbelly of L.A. society commonly known as thugs and losers decided to unleash their toxic anger on a happy event.

What is up with burning items and destroying property all in your own city? What an attention whore move resulting in arrests for many, was it really worth it.

GO LAKERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Lakers!!!
It is unfortunate to see how poor peoples' mentalities can turn when it comes to celebrating a victory. Being a Laker fan does not mean to go out and destroy; is about about motivation. Is about showing show your kids that anyting can be possible if you put your effort and time. Lets' teach our kids the meaning of motivation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sad day for Los Angeles, this is really what the city has become. Soon LA will be no different then any other third world slum city. Maybe it already is!

You Lakers fans don't have class.We the San Antonio Spurs have more class.Kobe Bryant is just a cry baby

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