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2-year-old who fell to his death at Lakers game had crawled out of parents' sight

Staples The parents of a 2-year-old who died after plunging 50 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite had lost sight of their son and were searching for him when they learned he had fallen, said sources familiar with the investigation.

The boy, Lucas Anthony Tang, had been crawling around the suite during the Lakers' game against the Golden State Warriors, sources said. At some point, his parents noticed he was missing and began to look for him.

They did not know then that their son, who would have turned 3 in January, had fallen. Witnesses at the game told The Times that the boy was moving his arms, legs and head before paramedics took him out on a stretcher.

A spokesman for AEG, the company that manages Staples Center, said he had no comment at this time.

The death is being investigated by the LAPD's abused-child unit, a standard practice that officials said does not necessarily mean a crime has been committed.


Child dies after 50-foot fall at Lakers game

Child-abuse unit investigating boy's death in Staples Center fall

Boy hurt in fall from Staples Center luxury suite after Lakers game

-- Andrew Blankstein and Kate Linthicum

Photo: A security guard, top, looks down from where a young boy fell to where a second guard stands after the Lakers' game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on Sunday night. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (91)

I suspect the parents are young and foolish. What a shame; a painful lesson, indeed. No child should be allowed to crawl around on a dirty floor with or w/o carpeting, etc., and unsupervised. Of course, their negligence cost Lucas his life. I hope they can forgive themselves.

Oviously, this is a tragic accident. I just don't want to hear that his parents make a fortune by suing the Staple Center.

To all the people who commented that it's not appropriate to take a toddler to a basketball game: I happen to agree, but I also think that young parents today are very conflicted about this issue.

When I was a kid, parents didn't take their kids to "grown-up" parties, sporting events, concerts, and so forth. They'd hire a 13-year-old neighbor girl to babysit them. These days, that would be considered child neglect. And with all the publicity about children being abused by nannies and babysitters, most parents don't feel it's safe to leave their child in someone else's care when they go out. And because we now live in a world where people are not particularly close with their extended families, many people don't have the option of asking countless grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to babysit.

So instead, parents end up bringing their kids to inappropriate places, often in situations where it's difficult to keep an eye on them the whole time. (How many cocktail parties have I attended where children were running around unattended, at a house with a pool?) Unfortunately, this kind of tragedy is the result.

Why is a 2 year old at a basketball game in the first place? At that hour, they should be at home watching Barney and getting ready for bed. Selfish parents.

@Rick, You are right, you can't have your eye on your child at all times, you'd not be able to function. BUT, as a parent it is you job to watch them and for this little toddler 2-3 is very small, to not have a parent watching over him at all times at a place like this is ridiculous. Sorry that one of them would have to give up some of their party time but this was a preventable accident. Just how long did it take this boy to get outside of the room and up and over the edge? I know kids are quick but that had to take some time for him to do. These things happen? Yeah, you read about kids falling over edges of places all the time. If you go somewhere and you can't keep a close eye on your child, then you shouldn't go out or get a sitter. Sadly though regardless of who is at fault, they have to live with this forever. No one wins.

Thats devastating.very devistating

Taking a 2 or 3 year old child to a public event like a basketball game inconveniences everyone around them and is not fun or fair to the child. Of course, the parents will now find someone to sue over their loss.

terrible, two year olds are hard to watch, my mother had my brother and me in harnesses. It kept us from getting into trouble. Awful tragedy...

I have been going to basketball games since the day my son was born he is now 4 I have attended every home game he has not been out of my sight once at a place like that u never let your kid wonder like that

I can't imagine what a 2 year old would get out of a basketball game either.

RIP Lucas. So very sad and tragic. I agree, The Staples Center, The Lakers and AEG are NOT responsible for this. The parents are 100% at fault. They should have been watching their son.


What is the matter with people here. This is a tragedy, a terrible tragedy, but the to hold the parents responsible for this accident is unbelievable. This type of accident can happen anywhere and a number of ways, EVEN IF YOU ARE A HELICOPTER PARENT. To blame the parents for an accident say a couple of possible things about you:

1. You don't have kids.
2. You love to feed off of misery.
3. You are a paranoid freak that lives in fear and with a "I told you so" attitude.

Stupid parents. These parents are the same type who lock their children in cars during summer and they go shopping.

I was in the SFO Auto show yesterday in the classic car collections area, where they had all the multi million dollar cars from 1930s,40s,etc.. and these were all roped around so that no one could touch them. Little did they know or realize that kids could go under the rope and touch cars and thats what happened when one kid went under the rope and started touching a multimillion dollar car. Not sur eif he used any crayons. I have no idea why stupid parents bring their stupid kids to such events. Don't get me riled about the stupid organizers who are so inattentive.

Wow, what a terrible accident. This story really hits me hard since I have a 7-month old that's just starting to roll around on his own. I can't imagine the pain this family must be feeling. Rest in peace, little Lucas.

Parent neglect, I think the parents must've downed a few bottles of beer in this private suite. I mean the suites are probably less than 750' sq ft, how the hell do you lose a toddler in that small space? last weekend, there was news about a toddler that was walking around Paramount studios. apparently this toddler wlaked out of their house, crossed the street walking aimlessly - again, parent neglect.

A truly tragic accident that without blame. I have held my children so close at sporting events (even in these very boxes) that it bordered on abuse and yet they still managed to find themselves in potential danger. It's just not possible to have complete control every second and it only take a second for a tragedy such as this to occur. The could have been anyone's child on any given day. Please do not fault the parents. Their pain is unbearable enough without nameless, faceless critics attacking from afar. Personally, I hope there isn't any attempt to sue the Staples Center because that would only cheapen the tragedy and make it about lawsuits and not about this poor boy who was only being a little boy bursting with curiosity. To the parents of Lucas, know that blame you may be feeling would be there if this had happened to him as an adult. It is one of the lifelong burdens of parenthood. You did nothing wrong and there is always ways of doing things better but that is just the torture of hindsight. May you someday find a way to forgive yourselves though forgiveness isn't warranted. This is the essence of tragedy.

Accidents do happen. This does not mean that someone is at fault-things just happen. Maybe small children should not be allowed in boxes? Hey, maybe liquor should not be served in boxes??? Yeah, right!!! The key is to not always look for a scape goat or villian.

May God be with little Lucas and the heart broken family. This crushed me and it was purely an accident. God bless them all.

Your well supported and informed opinion about this incident is likely simply a reaction to your boring and powerless life. Leave the research for the investigators. These people, however careless you feel they are, will be burdened with this until they, themselves, die. Their is a good chance it will destroy their marriage in the process.


Don't we agree that the balcony looks to be unsafe? Not all of us are coordinated enough to safely navigate this. The Lakers game was the foremost great idea.

rick dont have any children a 2 yr old needs to be watched at all times!!! Moran

Man, everybody's an expert.

What else can a person say but how sad, and my sympathies to everyone who loved that little boy?

It is a tragic accident, but one that could have been readily prevented. The parents were negligent and should be punished.

Imagine if this would have happened while the baby was in the care of a nanny? Would you not hold the nanny responsible?

In a situation like this, your priority is the welfare of your kid, not enjoying the game! Shame on them.

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