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2 officers hurt in Los Angeles Lakers victory clashes; downtown property damaged [Updated]

Los Angeles city officials and downtown L.A. merchants were assessing the damage Friday morning after unruly fans celebrating the Lakers victory in the NBA Finals rampaged through the streets around Staples Center.

The Los Angeles Police Department deployed a huge force of officers hoping to prevent the looting and violence that occurred after last year's Lakers championship win. But although the situation in and around Staples Center was calm, there were scattered problems elsewhere downtown.

Crowds broke windows of storefronts, jumped on cars, set at least 15 small fires and threw objects at police.

The LAPD reported 38 arrests. There were also several injuries, but the exact number was not clear.

An LAPD officer was hit in the head by an object apparently thrown at him and suffered a broken nose.

A Los Angeles sheriff's deputy was hit in the head with a rock at a light rail station platform, said Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.

At 7th and Flower streets, a crowd of more than 500 people surrounded a Metro bus and numerous people attempted to pull the bus driver out through the driver's side window, Parker said. Deputies deployed tear gas and sting balls, causing the crowd to disperse. They rescued the bus driver and the occupants of the bus.

A taxi driver was attacked, and his taxi was set on fire, Parker said. While rescuing him, rocks and bottles were thrown at deputies, who used sting balls and stun bags to break up the crowd, he said. They rescued the driver and, with the help of LAPD officers, took him out of the area.

Police fired non-lethal rounds to disperse a crowd at Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard after several small fires were set. Fires were also set at 11th and Hope streets, and at 7th and Flower streets, a taxicab was engulfed in flames.

At least one person was beaten as fights broke out on Flower Street near Olympic Boulevard, officials said. A bicyclist was injured when struck by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department vehicle near 11th and Flower streets, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

At La Bella Cucina, in the 900 block of Figueroa Street, customers began throwing bottles, knocking over tables and stealing bottles of liquor, said restaurant manager Christian LaBella.

"I think it's pretty sad, especially when customers turn on you so quickly," LaBella said late Thursday. "They lost respect for themselves, they lost respect for the Lakers, and they lost respect for the restaurant. It's a shame for L.A."

"A lot of stupid, stupid people out here tonight," added Edward Lizama, 42, who lives in an apartment near 9th and Olive streets. "This isn't people having fun. It's ridiculous."

The violence broke out shortly after the game ended. The LAPD declared an unlawful assembly as people gathered along Figueroa Street near Olympic Boulevard. Hundreds of officers in patrol cars, on foot and on horseback moved in to clear streets and break up the crowds.

At 8th and Figueroa streets, fans and a phalanx of more than two dozen police wearing riot gear and wielding batons faced off. The standoff began when a bunch of fans tore down a traffic sign and then ripped out two newspaper stands and lighted the papers on fire. When the police marched up Figueroa, about two dozen abreast, the crowd slowly receded. Some people were throwing containers of energy drinks, which had been passed out for free after the win.

The YWCA at 11th and Olive was vandalized as taggers marked graffiti up and down the side of a wall. Another person upended a traffic sign and bashed in several windows. [For the record at 9:30 a.m.: A previous version of this post stated that a YMCA was vandalized. It was a YWCA.]

An LAPD cruiser pulled up and shined a light on the men. "Let's go. Night's over," an officer said through a loudspeaker.

-- Sam Allen, Tony Barboza, Hector Becerra, Andrew Blankstein, Paloma Esquivel, Robert Faturechi, Kate Linthicum, Robert J. Lopez, Joel Rubin, Abby Sewell and Ruben Vives

Photo credits: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times; Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Hi-res photos:
A hard-fought series

Photos: Lakers vs. Celtics,
Game 7

Photos: Lakers fans at
Game 7 of the NBA Finals

 
Comments () | Archives (146)

Lets give the LAPD some credit for not shooting those morons...

Lets give the LAPD some credit for not shooting those morons...

LOST ANGELES, LOST ANGELES. Be careful Beck, if you enforce the law, some of them wont tell on the bad guys. LOLLLLLLL

Is this Bolivia or The U.S.A.?

Stay classy Laker fans

All the more reason there should be no immigration reform. Stop letting these clowns in. I saw knuckleheads in East LA waving Mexican flags during their "celebration". Geez, what a good example and representation of your people. Celebrate the LA LAKERS by waving Mexican flags, nice. I don't see anyone else waving flags of their native country. Oh, that's because if they're that proud, they didn't leave their country!

As usual the criminals of Los Angeles in action. LAPD can't prevent rioting and looting but with the help of the national guard it can.

LA MUST BE SO PROUD

Once the crowds start throwing rocks and cement, the police should open fire on anyone they see doing that.

This kind of nonsense can't be tolerated in a civil society.

Chicago was able to win the Stanley Cup, have massive partying and even a parade with over a million people and no incidents. Stay classy LA.

These people are not sport fans or anything close to civilized. They are a gang of thugs and hoodlums looking for any excuse to steal, maim and disrupt. The police should get a little more serious and do some harm to these idiots.
They should mass tazerize the crowd then get out the billy clubs to knock some sense into them!

The city need to bring in the National guards when ever theres a big event and surround the whole area.

These disruptive idiots are NOT Laker fans, and anyone who says that they are needs their head checked.

I LUV el-Lay...

so glad I don't live there anymore, though!

The idiots who do this kind of stuff are not worthy enough to be called "fans". They are simply idiots. Uneducated idiots. It's so sad, but what's even sadder, is that this is not surprising, it's almost expected. LA has gone down the tubes. No dignity, no pride, no leadership.

On a brighter note, much congrats to the Lakers -

It is very sad....makes L.A. look bad. ;(

When outsiders ask, "where's a better place to live, San Francisco or L.A.?" I immediately say Frisco. You see, Los Angeles lacks prestige and culture. There a lot of unsophisticated people who lack character and polish. L.A. is essentially a bunch of urban bumpkins. Frisco on the other hand is cultured, civilized, and the people there don't act like animals.

Since these people acted like children, perhaps they should be spanked, publicly?

Really? When will these losers realize celebrating is DOES not include destoying property. GO HOME! It's really sad that they ruin a wonderful joyous night. Then again I highly doubt they're read or EVER understand cause they're too busy destroying propertly and behaving badly.

IDIOTS!

You punks aren't athletes, you aren't talented, you aren't anything. You make a mockery of all that team's hard work by thinking throwing bottles makes you worthy of even sweeping the parquet at Staples.

Oh, you can get drunk and throw a rock. OOOH, that makes you like Kobe?

This is the second time in a row this has happened. The Lakers team might need to do a bit of unfair collective punishment by cancelling the parade - so that the majority of Lakers fans next time might stop the few punks long before they get too crazy.

I live in Philly, I totally understand LA's enbarassment over juvenile behavior of some Laker fans. The key word is SOME not everyone in LA behaves like that. The majority don't but those few that do act like idiots cast the entire city in a bad light. I feel you LA, some Philly fans are just as bad.

"It's a shame for L.A." hahahaha...I guess this people never celebrated before.

Perhaps the Finals should be permanently moved to a city where the fans express themselves in a more civil and legal manner? The "fans" in LA are an embarrassment to the sport and city.

It's JUST A GAME!

That picture above says everything you need to know about Los Angeles. That's the face of LA. Not pretty, is it? Glad I moved out.

 
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