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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)


Thank You Lakers..for the broken nose. to bad it was only one

"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."

Where does the LA times get its sources, this is not what happened. First off, the taxi driver who lost his car was not rescued by LAPD. LAPD came minutes later after the crowd had already destroyed the man's taxi and kicked him out of his car. The man had walked away himself, LAPD did not take him out of the area.

That's why we shouldn't cut the school budget... These guys obviously didn't go to school.

I live in downtown and like last year it wasn't fun seeing stupid fans come into my neighborhood and trash it and loot the businesses. The Lakers should pay for some of the damages. Even if the finals were elsewhere and the Lakers won, the fans would still riot (they did last year!). When Chicago Blackhawks had their celebration last week - 2 million people came out and no one started any fires nor pushed over buses. Way to represent LA...

Correction: Are you listening politicians, community leaders and the Catholic Church?

I was born and raised in L.A. I have since moved and after seeing what people from L.A. do to celebrate victory, I am embarrased to say I am from there as should all of you.

I don't think there should be a parade. Why endanger more people, officers, private property etc...If Lakers fans act like animals they shouldn't get a big party. Discusting.

Don't forget that these are the same people who decry police brutality when they think no body is looking.

Teams that have these kind of events should not be allowed to compete for the title the following year. I know it is not the teams fault that these people do this but if they are true fans, they would not want to jeopardize the championship the next year.

These people should be clubbed unconscious by roving Press Gangs and wake up the next day in the navy . . . just like the good ol' days!

With respect to all Hispanics that were happy to see the Laker's win and DID NOT try to light cars on fire, the pictures do show a lot of immature -skinned young Hispanic men who were just looked for any reason to go wild and riot. That being said I can also recall many instances of WASP college students rioting after their team wins the NCAA basketball tournament. The answer does not seem to be jail time. Our jails are too filled as it is. Scrubbing the ESPN Center area with a toothbrush would be a far better punishment.

I do wish the media would stop referring to those thugs as Laker fans. Tose brainless useless idiots aren't Laker fans, or Celtics fans, or basketball fans, or sports fans at all. What they are is very simple...gangbanging, empty-headed punks who care for nothing except violence.

True sports fans know how to celebrate with class, not with violence.

This is exactly why I wanted Boston to win.

Disgusting. For this reason alone, I was hoping the Lakers would lose. Drastic measures should have been taken.

I love how everyone in LA does this every time a team wins something. I was so proud of my city, San Antonio, when we won the championships. There was partying in the streets, thats all and everyone had a blast. No damage, no injuries, nothing but happiness for the teams hard work. Nope not you LA you are just a bunch of loosers and I would NEVER raise a child in that atmosphere. I will also say that you folks on this board who are blaming a race need to get a life cause its the society in LA as a whole, not a race.

An example of our tribalism of the past.

After successfully vanquishing the enemy, let's have a big fire and dance around it.

Why is it always about race? There are idiots in every nationality.

A shopping cart full of flames? Are you kidding me? Hey buddy, you've got a cart full of fire, now what? GO LAKERS!

Stay classy LA

@Shame on LA : "Frisco on the other hand is cultured, civilized, and the people there don't act like animals."

1) No one in SF calls it "Frisco". They hate that.
2) You must not have seen the YouTube videos of how the low-lifes act on the Bart there.
3)Just about everyone I know who visits or lives in SF gets their car broken into there, regularly. You can't park a car there overnight without risking it.
4) Don't make a blanket generalization about LA based on some dum-dums who run amok after a sports game.

All of those arrested should have been on a early "work detail" cleaning up the mess around Staples Center and the surrounding area. Any and all damage, plus the police overtime should have to be repaid by those arrested by the police. Putting them into our overcrowded court and jail system will only cost the city more money. If you really want to penalize them then make them pay.

this is beyond disappointing... the win is a win for the community and this destruction just creates such a poor situation for the community. someone please explain why an amazing win for the la lakers should result in this horrible chaos...this just breaks my heart.

Talk about a fire sale.

What an embarrassment. We can never ever have the Olympics or any other large scale event come to our city because these losers have made it drug gang and graffiti central. God forbid the Dodgers ever win a world series again.

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