Bratton: “Gangbanger” Laker Fans Arrested

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 2:44 PM PDT
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Bratton: “Gangbanger” Laker Fans Arrested

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A group of people who allegedly crawled on top of a ticket booth and tried to barge their way into the Lakers victory celebration at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum were arrested today, but not before a confrontation with police in riot gear.

Los Angeles police Officer Gregory Baek said 15 people were arrested -- including seven felony arrests and eight misdemeanors. One of the people arrested was a juvenile.

Police Chief William Bratton told KCAL9 the people arrested outside the Coliseum were "gangbangers -- all tattooed up, the signs, the whole bit."

According to Channel 9, a group of people climbed on top of a ticket booth and began tearing down a temporary fence to try to get into the Coliseum, which was at capacity for the event. Officers on horseback, along with SWAT officers, arrived and declared an unlawful assembly, the station reported. Some people threw bottles at officers, some of whom fired less-than-lethal rounds at the crowd.

While officers made arrests, police prevented people from leaving the Coliseum

"We made a number of arrests, with the idea we didn't want to co-mingle that group with what was inside (the Coliseum)," Bratton told KCAL. "The larger part of the crowd out here was orderly, but they were caught between the fence and the gangbangers, if you would, or the knuckleheads is the term everybody seems to like out here."

The Los Angeles Times reported that about 30 people were ticketed for walking onto the Harbor (110) Freeway to take pictures. Baek could not confirm that report.
 

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