Owners of Staples Center Come to Cabbie's Rescue

Cabbie receives compensation and now looks for justice

By John Adams
|  Monday, Jun 21, 2010  |  Updated 5:08 PM PDT
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AEG turns a bad situation into a great opportunity to help.

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AEG turns a bad situation into a great opportunity to help.

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Finally, some good news for the cab driver whose taxi was destroyed by revelers after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics to win the NBA championship.

AEG, which owns Staples Center, donated $10,000 to the driver, Abraham Teferi, to help him find another cab. AEG spokesman Michael Roth said cabbie Abraham Teferi will be presented a check Monday afternoon.

Meantime, in hopes of finding the perpetrators, the Los Angeles Fire Department released raw video of the cab being jumped on and set afire as a crowd cheered.

Anyone who can identify the people in the video below is asked to call the LAFD's Arson/Counterterrorism unit at (213) 485-6095.

WARNING: Video contains disturbing images and foul language.

The destruction of the cab was believed to have been the worst incident during the after-game revelry, and AEG decided to give Teferi $10,000 to help him find another ride.

AEG President Tim Leiweke issued a statement expressing sympathy for the cabbie.

"At a time when our city should be proud and celebrating our NBA champions, it is so troubling that the actions of a few could have such a devastating effect on an individual who was just doing his job," said Leiweke. "We hope that our humble gesture will not only help Abraham but also encourage everyone to respect each other and properly pay tribute to the Lakers."

While most fans celebrated responsibly, more than 40 people were arrested who allegedly set fires, broke windows, tagged buildings, vandalized property and harassed motorists trying to leave the area around Staples Center.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said the troublemakers should be punished to the full extent of the law.

"Rioters should be prosecuted vigorously, allowed no plea bargains, required to serve full sentences and make restitution for damages," said Antonovich.

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