LOS ANGELES — Police officers fired non-lethal ammunition Tuesday night during a downtown Los Angeles Dodgers’ World Series celebration marred by vandalism, looting and a dumpster fire.
Dodgers fans across Southern California rejoiced after the team won its first World Series title in 32 years, and hundreds of revelers downtown proved to be among the rowdiest.
Cars peeled out and turned donuts in the streets. People set off illegal fireworks.
And at about midnight, things went from rowdy to ominous as a dumpster was set on fire near a high-rise building. A firetruck arrived about 10 minutes later, along with dozens of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers wearing riot helmets.
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A man walks past a dumpster fire as Dodgers fans celebrate the team's World Series in Los Angeles. (Photo: Josh Peter, USA TODAY Sports)
The sound of stun grenades echoed through downtown as officers marched in a single file line at least 12 across.
The crowd dispersedbut there was still evidence of trouble mere blocks away.
A plate glass window at First Republic Bank had been shattered, as had a front window of a Reliant Urgent Care. Nearby, four officers with guns drawn responded to a report of looting at a Smart & Final grocery store.
A window is shattered at a First Republic Bank in Los Angeles during the celebration of the Dodgers' World Series victory. (Photo: Josh Peter, USA TODAY Sports)
Nelson Quevedo, an employee working the overnight shift at the grocery store, said a couple of people broke into the store. A glass panel lay shattered near the store's entrance.
Quevedo said he was working the overnight shift with two other employees when he saw a couple of people enter the store. He said he thought looters took alcohol and left when they realized employees were in the store. But policemen entered the store and looked around just in case.
About five minutes later, the officers returned. No looters on the premises.
“It’s going to be like this all night,’’ an officer told the employees, ‘’so just be careful.’’
Baseball fans celebrate downtown after the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo: Ashley Landis, AP)
Arthur Daghbash stood outside the apartment where he lives and watched the chaos.
Of the police, he said, “They’re doing their job and they’re doing a great job. This isn’t a celebration. We don’t celebrate victories like this.’’
In Echo Park, a neighborhood near Dodger Stadium, freelance journalist Lexis-Olivier Ray reported that LAPD officers “turned their weapons on a small group of press and community members.’’ He posted video of the alleged attack on his Twitter account.
A group of LAPD officers just broke my camera mic, tackled me to the ground and beat me with their batons, after I identified myself as a journalist multiple times. @LATACOpic.twitter.com/2VaB4sq8IJ
Photojournalists @bfeinzimer and @chrismatography document LAPD advancing their skirmish lines on Olympic and Hope as a firework explodes. @LATACOpic.twitter.com/vgVZ5tElmC
Earlier in the night, there was also a tense moment in East Los Angeles, an area heavily populated with Mexicans and other Spanish-speaking residents. A throng of revelers refused to leave a streets near the corner of Whittier Blvd. and Atlantic Blvd., the site of previous celebrations.
Through a bullhorn, a member of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office wearing a riot helmet announced the group had one minute to clear the street.
But many of the revelers stayed in the streets and the celebration proceeded peacefully. At one point, more than a dozen people were line dancing amid chants of “Let’s go Dodgers’’ as blasts of fireworks filled the air.
“They listened enough,’’ Sgt. Levi Belville of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. “We didn’t want to ruin anybody’s party.’’
At Dodger Stadium, about 1,000 cars were in two parking lots for a drive-in watch party. After the final out, a cacophony of honking horns filled the air.
A few minutes later, Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.’’ blared from the back of Wes Sarno’s SUV, where he stood with his three children.
Sarno, 40, said his children requested he play the song, and he noted he was 8 when the Dodgers won their last World Series title, in 1988.
“Fell in love the Dodgers right at that moment,’’ he said, “and I’m so glad my kids are able to enjoy this experience.’’
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