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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)

Unless you know ALL the circumstances, nobody has the right to judge anyone. This is sad enough for the family of this little boy. I can't believe some people and their comments. Stop being ignorant and actually try showing some sympathy.

Very Sad. My 2 year old is able to climb up chairs that are bar stool height before he turned 2. My older son was even more adept at climbing things at that age. No toddler should not be allowed to get that close to the end of a balcony at that height.

I've been to those suites a couple of times and the glass railing are quite low. I'm not really sure about its break resistant level for those glass either. I wouldn't dare to lean on it. A child can fall over if you don't keep an eye on him or her.
Please pay attention to your kid before the game regarless of places. i.e. your house, park, anywhere.

May Lucas' soul rest in peace; he was needed in GOD's bosom!

I have been in those boxes. Scarey! Every parent's nightmare. I am surprised that this hasn't happened before this. It would be so easy for ANYONE to fall off of those ledges. I am 5' tall and the barrier only came up to my knee. It really bothered me. I made my kids sit the entire time or hold my hand. I remember thinking that if I fell down the steep stairs that go between the four rows of seats, I would just keep going and fall out of the box.

Seriously, the parents should have been watching their kid of course - this is assuming there was actually no child abuse involved however, I have been to Staples Center like a million times and I am petrified every time I have to go sit up in the 300s. I have been to the lux suites a few times too and the ledge is pretty low. Buuuut I think it would make it hard to see otherwise, I dunno. Either way, the heights at Staples are pretty scary to me. Poor kid, I feel really sad what a way to begin the holiday season, my heart goes out to his family.

What is a 2 yr old child doing at a Laker game? The place was a mad-house, jammed with people jostling and pushing, heavy traffic for hours. What possible interest could a 2-yr old have in a basketball game? This was no place for a child, especially with parents distracted by watching a sports event.

enough with negative criticism, blaiming and judginn the grieving family, it is very sad to learn that a two year old child has lost his life in a time when he and those who loved him are supposed to be having a fun time together. It is difficult time for every one involved when a child this young loses his life, at the same time it makes those of us who have children this age or older appreaciate them more, love them unconditionaly. a prayer for a little angel named Lucas, God blesses this angel.

I'm so sick of hearing that its the parents are to BLAME for the tragedy of their child... Accidents happen! No parent can honestly say they literally keep an eye on their child every second of every day... Its not like they wanted this to happen so throw them in jail! I'm so sorry for their loss because a death of a loved one is already hard enuf, and on top of that they will be scrutinized for years to come...

@ Jazz, because arguably USC has a better trauma center. If I can speculate with some professional knowledge.

when a 2yo is not permitted on dangerous rides in an amusement park, why are they permitted in an open box seat? equally, as i have sat in the nosebleed front row at staples center, how did the city permit such a dangerous and precarious arrangement? since the airlines prevent those incapable and underage from sitting in the exit rows, there certainly must be the ability to do similarly where applicable at a staples center.

Staples Center seating can be scary, even when you're not sitting in the luxury boxes. Up high in the back, I definitely get a feeling that I could fall if I lost my balance too close to the front. I think the glass partitions should be extended up higher.

Nothing can change God's will.

This little guy was wanted by God.

Why take a 2 year old to a Lakers Game anyway? Of course he's going to be all over the place, he's 2! Babies and todlers do NOT have to go everywhere the parent go, get a babysitter.

Look how far the security guard is able to lean out and how low the rail hits him....that might have something to do with the 2-year-old falling. I've been in those luxury suites and there is definately not enough of a barrier to keep you from accidently going over. My heart goes out to the family of the little boy. Such a devastating story.

As a mother of 4 ages ranging from 15yrs old to 2yrs old. I am the most paranoid mother I know. And with that said I know I cannot watch my kids 24/7. I know how much we as good parents like to think that but be honest with yourselves. If a tragic event like this happen to you, what would you want or need to hear to get you through this tragedy. Imagine your BABY is gone.....Now if it comes out that these parents were drunk and just left their child unattended then judge.

They probably took him to the hospital with the best trauma center.

My GOD love be with this FAMILY in there time of NEED.
Also may that LOVE be with all who HOLD out to JUDGE.
But FAST in there OPEN arms of LOVE and UNDERSTANDING...

I AM SO SORRY FOR THIS CHILDS LOST! My condolescent to the parents and family. This is the reason, we parents must always/every second know/know what are the children doing and if under 13 years of age, we parents must/must make sure these lovely children are next to our body's always/always. If we parents MUST continue to understand and believe that "one blink of the eye" and life can change for good or worst. "God Bless the Parents" who are raising the future of the world and may "God" guide us all in the best possible ethical manner!

This is terrably sad. And for those of you who are blaming the parents you OBVIOUSLY dont have children. I am on my two year old like a hawk and he is still constantly falling and getting hurt. Kids are so quick and this is a very sad tragedy. My heart goes out to the baby.

i know the entire family. this isn't the platform to defend them, so if you have any doubts about their character, or how much they love their son, or their level of responsibility, please email me personally:

p r o e f o u nd (at) yahoo

i will answer any question you may have. the parents are both very great people. i love them all with all my heart.

Who takes a two-year old to a crazy, loud, beer-drinking sporting event? Shame on the parents, and shame on the Staples Center for allowing young children into to their midst.

After reading most of the comment's, I have came to the conclution that the STAPLES center itself should be held 99.99% responsible for the unsafe sittings. Perhaps "no" children under 13th years of age should be allow to wiew games in such dangerous sittings. Children get more emotional than adults and most do not comprehend the dangers from exitement....STAPLES Management should oversee and investigate the stracture safety for games watched by families and crowded sorrundings. Or perhaps, parents should have the available option of child care facilities provided to allow parents freedom for enjoyment."STAPLES "you" are responsible for unsafe situations around the facilities inside and outside,,,!!!!!CASE CLOSE!!!

I dont think the ledge should be higer. I think if you're little/child you should be with an adult to watch the game out in the open or the child should stay in the suite but either way supervision is necassary, especially with the little ones. My heart goes out to the family!! RIP!

I am so sorry to hear this. It is so hard to control sometimes a Terrible Two Year Old Boy. I agree it takes only 1 sec for the accident to happen. My heart really goes out to the family and to the boy. One thing for sure is he is now in good hands of the Lord who will give best and loving care.

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