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

Staples A 2-year old boy died after falling 50 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite after Sunday night's Lakers game, and the death is being investigated by the LAPD's abused-child unit, officials said Monday.

The boy was taken to Los Angeles County–USC Medical Center, where he died, said Officer Julie Sohn, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

[Updated at 8:01 a.m.: Coroner's officials said the boy's name is Lucas Anthony Tang.]

He fell from the top level of luxury suites several minutes after the game ended Sunday. It is unclear what the boy was doing before he fell.

Witnesses told The Times the boy was moving his arms, legs and head before paramedics took him out of Staples Center on a stretcher.

[Updated at 7:43 a.m.: Sources close to the investigation said the boy was attending the Lakers' game against the Golden State Warriors with his parents and 11-year-old sister.]


Cold, rain returns to L.A.; Thanksgiving will be clear

-- Mike Bresnahan at Staples Center and Stephen Ceasar

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 (186)

And where were the child's parents and what were they doing when the child was in danger?

What an unbelieveable tragedy. Our prayers go out to his family and of course, to little Lucas.

The ledge where the security guard is standing doesn't look very high; it seems to only go up to his knees. It ought to be higher.

I am sure the parents feel awful enough without the where were the parents comments. I highly doubt it was their intention. It is an ACCIDENT! A horrible accident that they will never ever recover from.

Its very clear that these people were NOT watching this kid.

It simply doesn't get any more basic than this: Small child nears potential hazard, parent IMMEDIATELY restrains child. Kid should never have been within 2 feet of the edge without being firmly in parents grasp. These parents should be held criminally negligent, and severely punished. A child died at their hands. Period!

you have to remember how quickly things can go bad...stop judging and assuming....all it takes is one sec...until we know the facts just we dont know anything!!!

If it truly was an ACCIDENT, I don't think that would spark a "Child-Abuse" investigation. I think there is A LOT missing from what we are hearing....

They should be investigated. Why is it OK today in our society to not take responsibility for our wrongs. Keep an eye on your kids and raise them if you are going to have them!

If you're a parent and making these negative comments, I'm sure there's been a time when your child had or almost had some sort of fall/accident. Accidents happen. You have no idea what happened before this accident occured so stop judging.

Such a horrible tragedy, I don't care what people say, but I have no problem keeping kid's on a leash!!!

My thought's and prayers go out to this child and his family.

News for the "Blame the Parents" idiot brigade- ACCIDENTS HAPPEN. Anyone who thinks children can be watched and protected 24/7 is either not a parent, or they have been LUCKY. And yes Seeder, that ledge does look quite low. Maybe the child tripped and went sailing over it. Whatever happened, how about a little common courtesy and decency towards the grieving family?

For years I I have felt that the plexiglass barriers for the blaconies were not adequate for people sitting in the first rows. They go up to about your thigh, and if you are pushed forward you're going over. The barrier should be at least waist high, but then you would have to look through the plexiglass to see the game. Buss needs to realize that these barriers are not safe, and increase their height to at least waist high. otherwise we will have more tragedies.

Kids should not be allowed in those suites. We attended a Kings game a couple weeks ago and had a suite with a couple other families. All the parents were nervous for their children -- the threat of such an accident happening was pretty obvious. My deepest sympathy to the family involved in this horrific incident.

As a parent of twin boys age 6, I don't let them out of my sight for a second because their curiosity will always get the best of them, but come on, who doesn't keep an eye on a 2 year?! As tragic as this is, the parents are to blame for his death. Not the Laker organization, Stapes Center, the PARENTS!

The railing in the suite is low and has to be to see the game. There are 3 rows of stadium style seating heading up into the suite - where the guard is standing is the first row, there is a really small ledge where you can put your drink and small plate of food. Not that it was designed for that, but it's what people do. The suite goes back to a lounge area with couches, bar, food, etc. It would not be difficult for a baby to fall over that ledge. It would be easy for anyone even an intoxicated adult. This is where personal responsibility comes in. It is a tragedy for the family, but a two year old does not belong at a Lakers game under those circumstances. May they find some kind of peace. And not through a lawsuit.

Tragic, especially around the holiday season.

I hope there is no lawsuit either. Citizens need to get away from the "sue happy" mentality that has plagued this country. Only the sleazy lawyers win.

So sad :(

Umm Kim,

This "accident" was totally preventable!

My sympathies to the family. My question is why did the paramedics take the child all the way to the USC Medical Center when California Hospital was around the corner.

Timing was of the essence so why drive all the way to East Los Angeles.

"Where are the parents?" comments usually come from the 'We have no kids, never plan on having kids, nor do we like kids, but we will throw out smarmy comments at parents who suffer a tragedy because we have no life" crowd. Or they come from the overly-obsessive 'I must watch little Jimmy 24/7 or something MIGHT happen' parent who smothers their children and they don't grow up and mature and learn how to deal with the world until their mid-20's like we see much to much in today's America.

Shut up people and go away. You can be the most vigilant parent there is and turn away for one minute and *BLAMO* - tragic accident. Life happens, and so does death. Piling on the Blame Game doesn't offer any solution. All it does is fill up the empty spaces with white noise.

The distance between the two guards does not appear to be fifty foot. Still a long drop for anyone, and a terrible drop for the little boy. Like another person noticed: the protective wall in the seating area is much too short; it would be easy to stumble, or be bumped over that wall. A two year old child could easily climb or lean over that wall. I understand being able to see the games from the seating areas, but to violent real safety rules to provide this view is unacceptable. There also appears to be a clear plastic shield above the wall, not sure though that it is high enough to prevent someone from falling over the edge. My sympathy and condolences to the family for the loss of their child. A very extremely sad time for them, and a feeling of loss for the rest of us.

I just hope the parents were not intoxicated in this time of trajedy, because that would be child neglect,child endangerment.Basically,not good.

The ledge is low to enhance visibility. 2 year olds should never be left alone, but especially not on the upper level of a sports arena. Pity the parents that will have to live daily with the knowledge that they could have prevented their little son's death. It happens so quickly.

This is killing me. I have a 3 year old son, he is my life. If anything ever happened to him, I don't know how I could ever move on. Its so easy to look away for one second, and the little guy gets into trouble. I take him to the store, he runs from item to item. Requires 100% of my attention. I can't focus on anything right now except how tragic this is.

Will the LA Times run a breathless series about the dangers of basketball games now?

Quote lots of "experts" calling for basketball games to be banned?

One would assume so - otherwise the paper would be intellectually inconsistent, and we know that can't be.

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