LOS ANGELES — Crowds of rowdy revellers poured into the streets after Game 7 of the NBA finals Thursday night, rocking cars, setting bonfires and throwing rocks and bottles at officers in scattered sections of the city.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said officers made multiple arrests, but he didn’t have an exact number. One officer suffered a broken nose after someone threw an object at him, Beck said.
Police said earlier at least nine arrests had been made, and that number was expected to rise. Most of the arrests were for public intoxication, while others were for vandalism and inciting a riot.
Pockets of violence were reported in the neighbourhoods near Staples Center, but no major incidents were reported in the rest of the city, Beck said.
Television news footage showed several people jumping on a taxi as it attempted to leave the area near the arena after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 83-79. 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.
Jazmine Rodriguez, 24, lives in an apartment building next to Interstate 10, not far from Staples Center. She said her mother’s car, her neighbours’ cars, and every car on her street had its windows smashed.
“When we came down here, only one window was smashed. The cops told us to go back inside, and they (revellers) smashed the other one,” Rodriguez said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said several people were treated for injuries outside the arena. The number and extent of the injuries was not know.
Shortly after the game, police declared an unlawful assembly, urging people to immediately disperse.
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 growing, but no major problems were reported, sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said.
Associated Press writers Raquel Dillon, Daisy Nguyen, Denise Petski and Nardine Saad contributed to this report.