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Lakers violence: Authorities release raw video of mob attacking cab, seek public's help [Updated]

June 19, 2010 |  9:44 am

One of the vandalism/arson suspects poses for a picture by a taxi cab set on fire by the violent crowd outside the Staples Center Thursday night.Los Angeles authorites has released raw video of a mob attacking and setting fire to a taxicab after the Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

Officials hope the public can identify some of the people seen on the video.

The taxicab incident was one of the most serious that occurred during the rampage.

Violence erupted within 30 minutes of the game's end as rowdy fans poured out of area bars and, shortly after, the 19,000 ticket-holders inside Staples began to emerge. Phalanxes of LAPD officers successfully funneled the tightly packed revelers away from the venue, but bands of mostly young men grew aggressive and brazen as they moved into the surrounding blocks.

A typical scene played out on Figueroa Street, where revelers tore down a traffic sign, ripped open newspaper racks and lighted the papers on fire. As police in riot gear approached, the crowd hurled unopened cans of energy drinks at them. Several men stomped on an SUV parked on the street, breaking its windows.

Police chased the roving groups for about two hours, pushing them farther afield until they dispersed and relative calm returned.

Before it was over, police had fired tear gas and stinging pellets to disperse a scrum of several hundred people who surrounded a city bus filled with passengers and attempted to yank the driver out through a window. A cabbie fled when his taxi was set upon by another mob that kicked in the windshield and set it ablaze. A local YWCA, several restaurants and other storefronts had windows smashed. At least eight people, one of them beaten unconscious, were taken to area hospitals. Firefighters put out 19 rubbish and vehicle fires and police had made about 50 arrests.

Read about the aftermath of the violence following the Lakers victory by Times reporters at the scene.

[Updated at 10:25 a.m.: Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department or the Los Angeles Fire Department. The LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section number is (213) 485-6095.]

-- Shelby Grad

Below, video from the LAFD. WARNING: Contains foul language and some violence.


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