LAPD deals with chaotic night after Dodgers World Series victory

At least 8 people were arrested and three officers suffered minor injuries, police said

By Matthew Ormseth, Benjamin Oreskes, Kevin Rector, Hayley Smith
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles police made at least eight arrests and declared unlawful assemblies in downtown Los Angeles and Echo Park to clear out people who blocked streets and set off fireworks after the Dodgers won the World Series on Tuesday night.

Crowds gathered across the city to celebrate, mostly peacefully. But in some places, the situation got tense.

In Echo Park, people threw objects at police, who responded by shooting rubber bullets.

In downtown Los Angeles, video showed a crowd blocking a big-rig truck and taking merchandise from it. Several businesses were also reported vandalized.

Officer Lizeth Lomeli, an LAPD spokeswoman, said Wednesday morning that police had arrested one person on suspicion of assaulting an officer, four on suspicion of "looting" — a charge related to burglary or theft during an emergency — and three on suspicion of reckless driving.

Lomeli said three officers suffered minor injuries. She said she was not aware of any serious injuries to individuals in the crowds.

Police had hoped to avoid a repeat of the problems that occurred in downtown after the Lakers victory, when celebrations turned rowdy and more than 75 people were arrested, the vast majority of them for failing to disperse after police declared the gathering unlawful.

Several people were badly injured, including by police projectiles, as police cleared the Lakers celebration.

Preparing for a possible Dodgers victory, police had closed off the main entrance to Dodger Stadium, as well as Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles.

Crowds hit the streets in several locations after the first World Series win since 1988. Much of it was in good fun, with some parents bringing their children to enjoy the historic moment.

"This is the best we've felt in a long time," said Ismael Servin, 21, standing on the corner of Hubbard Street and Belsen Avenue in East Los Angeles, as smoke billowed from the tires of a pickup revving its engine in the intersection. "In 2020, we needed this."

Just 4 years old when the Dodgers last won a championship, Fernando Hernandez Jr. stood outside his mother's home in Boyle Heights in a delirium of happiness, clutching a half-empty bottle of Champagne.

"Pandemic champions, baby!" he shouted over the honks of cars rushing past on Soto Street. Queen's "We Are the Champions" belted from a loudspeaker.

Shortly after 11 p.m., the LAPD said it was dealing with scattered problems.

"We're seeing some large, at times unruly crowds, taking over intersections in various parts of the city. We urge all Angelenos to stay home if possible. If you must be out, please exercise caution. Should you encounter a large crowd, do not attempt to drive through it," the department said on Twitter.

Various videos showed police clashing with others on the streets of downtown as officers tried to clear the area after midnight.

Amid reports of people breaking into stores and stealing, police declared an unlawful assembly in downtown L.A. shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, closing off several blocks from 8th Street to Pico Boulevard and Figueroa Street to Broadway.

Across town, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department also clashed with crowds and shot projectiles to disperse people. It was not immediately clear Wednesday morning whether deputies had made arrests.

(c)2020 the Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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