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Parents were taking photos moments before boy fell from luxury box at Lakers game [Updated]

Staples The parents of a 2-year-old who died after plunging approximately 28 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite had been taking photos of the boy just before he fell, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

[Updated 2:47 p.m.: Officials earlier estimated that the boy fell 50 feet. Arena managers now say the distance was closer to 28 feet.]

Officials said the family was looking at the digital photos and lost track of the boy, who somehow went over the top of the glass partition, police said.

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.

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.

[Updated at 10:57 a.m.: "Our condolences and prayers go out to the Tang family. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department on the investigation of this tragedy," Michael Roth, vice president of communications for the Staples Center, said in a statement.]


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 at Staples Center on Sunday night. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press



Comments () | Archives (63)

This is so tragic and so preventable. Very sad. The toddler obviously was not capable of watching the game, so why not hire a babysitter? If one is in a luxury box, one may well have the money to pay for a babysitter - so that the parents could enjoy the game and their surroundings without worrying about accidents like this.

California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3210. Elevated Locations.

(a) Buildings. Guardrails shall be provided on all open sides of unenclosed elevated work locations, such as: roof openings, open and glazed sides of landings, balconies or porches, platforms, runways, ramps, or working levels more than 30 inches above the floor, ground, or other working areas of a building as defined in Section 3207 of the General Industry Safety Orders. Where overhead clearance prohibits installation of a 42-inch guardrail, a lower rail or rails shall be installed. The railing shall be provided with a toeboard where the platform, runway, or ramp is 6 feet or more above places where employees normally work or pass and the lack of a toeboard could create a hazard from falling tools, material, or equipment.


9. Theatre galleries, balconies, or other such elevated seating locations, where a 42-inch railing would obstruct the sight lines, may be protected by a guardrail or other barrier of not less than 34 inches in height provided that a horizontal concave safety ledge not less than 6 inches in depth and not less than 36 inches in effective width is installed beyond the railing at the balcony floor level. The safety ledge shall be designed to carry a live load of 100 pounds per square foot.

From the look of graphic provided, the partition doesn't meet California safety orders. I smell pending litigation.


Can you clarify if the ledge plus 18" of glas is built to code? This would shutup a lot of ignorant comments from those that truly believe Staples was built not being in code:

"Only the suite seats can have bottled beer, everywhere else cans. The first large lawsuit was a beer bottle thrown out in the crowds from the suites and a woman lost her eyesight in one eye. I;m sure that they were thinking that if you can afford a suite, you would have sense not to throw a bottle into the crowd...yeah right!

When I was with the FD, we tried to raise that 18 inch plastic/glass partition to 2-3 feet. We were overruled (BUILT TO INSPECTOR'S CODE) and now it's come to pass...someone falling over it.

Poor family and a piss in the bucket for Staples when they have to pay out the settlement.

Posted by: John | November 22, 2010 at 02:50 PM "

A shocking tragedy. Now is not the time for blame. It is the time for grief and consolation. I pray that the parents ultimately find peace and learn to live with this, the worst loss a parent can experience.

I add that the article the other commenters just read in no way contains enough information for a reasonable person to make an informed decision on who is to blame or be held liable, if anyone.

while i feel sorry for the parents, i do wonder why anybody would bring a child that young to a game? he had no idea what he was looking at.

I think this is such a tragic accident. I should also say that the parents should have probably been looking after their child a little bit more. Even though my prayers and thoughts are with the Tang Family

The parents and any able bodied, reasonably alert adult who was present are to blame. I hope they don't go looking for excuses i.e. the glass is too low for toddlers, we didn't know, we thought it was safe, blah blah. This tragedy should NEVER happen under the watchful and responsible eye of the parent of any toddler anywhere. I've been in those boxes many times and a tipsy adult could easily fall over that glass barrier, but that hasn't happened - yet. These parents have no excuse whatsoever for not keeping a tight focus on an inquisitive, active toddler in that kind of environment - period. It's a needless tragedy magnified by a lack of parental responsibility and "adult" accountability. Stay tuned for the lawsuit and the claims that the glass is too low. Next year, we'll all be watching Staples events through full floor to ceiling glass barriers and paying higher ticket prices so AEG can install it because 2 parents neglected the most important thing in their lives for "just a moment." How many times has a tragedy like this been prefaced with that phrase?

I am so sorry they lost their child but you do not take your eyes of FOR A SECOND of a two year old- the didn't know that the child fell over, Now I hope they do not try to sue to because this is on them which is very sad because I can only imagine their guilt

What hell the parents must be going through. The parents obviously weren't perfect, but everyone makes mistakes; everyone. Then when something tragic happens, to pile on mocking reprimands on to satisfy your ego?

Most of the "folks" on this message board appear to be complete scum.

If the only thing you can do is mock the parents after such a tragedy or try to impose your political philosophies onto such a miserable event, you are a complete waste of life. I just wish it were you instead of this child.

My very deepest heart felt condolences to the family of this little boy. I cannot fathom your pain. I'm also the father of a 'Lucas Anthony' - my son (15 months) probably very similar to your Lucas being constantly inquisitive and relentless in his pursuit for trouble. May your dearest little man rest-in-peace.

You must be a true Californian if the first thing that comes to mind in a situation like this is to sue, sue, sue. When are people going to start taking responsibility for their carelessness and ignorance? Or better yet, when will people stop getting rich off of the deaths of family members?

@ jayinLA

I feel sorry for the parents for their loss.

But if you think for one second that these parent SHOULD be compensated for their neglect, you crazy. Staples probably has cameras stationed where this family was sitting and all they need to prove is 1 second of neglectful behavior by the parents and its case dismissed. Poor?? did you see the house they are living in in Garden Grove??

People should not be compensated for something THEY could have prevented.. period.

Total height of the barrier is between 26 and 42 inches. The boy was probably standing on the concrete ledge portion and went over the glass barrier

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