Fan Violence Erupts in Los Angeles After Mexico Wins World Cup Game
On Monday, chaos erupted in the streets of Huntington Park shortly after Mexico’s 3-1 defeat of Croatia in the World Cup. Police clad in riot gear, in armored vehicles and some on horseback, were called to the hot spots to quell the celebration that turned to violence.
According to the Los Angeles Times, at least four were arrested. Hundreds of fans gathered in the streets, where some began to surround vehicles and rock them. A woman threw a bottle at the police on horseback. Three Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies were shown on TV subduing a rowdy reveler, forcing him to the ground and handcuffing him. Others were arrested for public intoxication and failing to disperse. The police were forced to shut down Pacific Boulevard and Florence Avenue.
Huntington Park police Detective Elsa Cobian told CNS/FOX that things started to get heated around 3:30 pm, thirty minutes after the game ended. She said, "I heard that some of the people came from a viewing party at El Club on Pacific Boulevard and some from the plaza over by Florence Avenue." Cobian continued, "They're not complying with orders to disperse from the officers at the scene."
The Huntington Park Police were forced to call in mounted sheriff’s units and special weapons teams from Santa Monica and other neighboring cities to help stem the riot. The California Highway Patrol were summoned to conduct traffic in the area.
The Times further reported that disturbances arose in other areas of the city after the game. Notably, in Pacoima, police were forced to close the off-ramps and the on-ramps on the 5 Freeway near Laurel Canyon and Van Nuys Boulevards, where aggressive fans were facing off with LAPD's Foothill Division.
The police declared the throng of fans--many of whom were waving green-red-and-white Mexican flags--an unlawful assembly and ordered them to disperse. Fortunately, fans–prompted by the presence of officers on foot and patrol cars–began to clear the streets. According to television news coverage, at least two individuals were arrested.