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Rowdy revelers arrested in LA

Set fires, throw rocks at police

By Robert Jablon
Associated Press / June 18, 2010

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LOS ANGELES — Crowds of rowdy revelers poured into the streets around Staples Center after Game 7 of the NBA finals on last night, rocking cars, setting bonfires, and throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

Nine people had been arrested for public intoxication, vandalism, and inciting a riot, but that number was expected to rise, said Mary Grady, Los Angeles police spokeswoman.

“As the crowds left the area, we had some groups that decided to celebrate irresponsibly,’’ she said. “We have certain groups who are starting to cause problems. We are immediately deploying officers where they are needed most.’’

Television news footage showed several people jumping on a taxi as it attempted to leave the area after the Los Angeles Lakers’ 83-79 win over the Boston Celtics. Someone opened a rear door of the vehicle while others rocked it back and forth. The taxi eventually made its way through the crowd and out of the area.

Television footage also showed a man being beaten and a car set on fire. And there were scattered reports of windows being broken at several businesses.

Some men ran shirtless in the street, while other people revved car engines and honked their horns in celebration. Broken glass and burnt debris lined the roads.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said several people were treated for injuries outside the arena. The number and extent of the injuries were not known.

Shortly after the game ended, police declared an unlawful assembly, urging people to disperse immediately. Pockets of violence were reported throughout the city.

Revelers honked horns and yelled while emergency vehicles and police cars with sirens going moved through the area. Some people set off fireworks.

Hundreds of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were deployed to East Los Angeles, where crowds were going, but no major problems were reported, sheriff’s Captain Mike Parker said.

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