Lakers fans go on downtown rampage
June 18, 2010
LAPD officers clashed with rowdy basketball fans following Thursday night’s victory by the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA championship series. [LA Times]
The Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 to clinch the championship before 20,000 enthusiastic fans in the Staples Center and thousands more gathered in nearby bars and restaurants.
After the game, police reports came flying in about fans throwing rocks, shattering windows, and setting fire to at least one vehicle.
At Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard, police fired less-than-lethal rounds at fans after they overturned a city parking enforcement vehicle and set fire to orange fire cones. LAPD officers at the intersection were heard requesting permission to fire projectiles at a group of men throwing chunks of concrete at them. Permission was granted.
Among other reported incidents:
–The YMCA at 11th and Olive was attacked by crowds who smashed windows and tagged walls with graffiti.
–Crowds rocked and jumped on cars around Figueroa Street and nearby roads.
–A KCAL-TV Channel 9 news van was attacked by a crowd, which smashed its windows.
–Groups were seen in several downtown locations knocking down news racks, throwing bottles at officers, setting off firecrackers and defacing signs.
The LAPD was making numerous arrests, but the exact number was not immediately available.
Police were able to clear the areas around Staples Center and the L.A. Live shopping complex. However, the crowds moved into surrounding neighborhoods, causing problems. Some fans ran onto the freeway.