LA Kings celebration mostly peaceful; 4 arrested outside Staples Center
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police were out in force Monday night around Staples Center to keep the peace after the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup.
There were several, but mainly minor incidents outside Staples. As of 11 p.m., the LAPD reported four arrests: one for ticket scalping, one for aggravated assault, one for misdemeanor battery and another for public drunkenness.
Earlier in the evening, revelers ignored police orders to disperse, tried to move in on officers and threw bottles and trash cans. One group began surrounded a Metro bus, kicking and hitting the doors and windows. Police fired rubber bullets at the crowd to break up the melee.
Paramedics were called in to treat a man who was injured in the ruckus, while officer restrained a few other fans with plastic handcuffs for refusing to leave the area.
"This is America," said one woman as she was led away in cuffs.
LAPD foot patrols were in place early in the day and could be found at every turn, as well as officers on bicycles and even horses.
"We have officers on the perimeter all around here," said LAPD Cmmdr. Andy Smith. "We shut off a lot of the traffic routes into here so people cannot drive into the area around the Staples Center."
Many fans welcomed the strong police presence, while others said it was unnecessary.
"This is completely ridiculous," said Kings fan Mark Cohen of Los Angeles. "They're idea of crowd control is to block all the areas made for free flowing crowds after an event like this."
As the boisterous party spilled onto the streets after the Kings' victory, most fans decked out in black and purple kept their celebrations in check. Overall the LAPD accomplished what they set out to: keeping the peace.
"The LAPD are big fans of the Kings fans," Smith said. "They did a great job out here tonight, very peaceful, very good crowd, everybody was well behaved. We're very proud of them."
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