In the aftermath of Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Croatia in the World Cup, hundreds of raucous fans roamed the streets of Los Angeles rocking cars and throwing bottles at officers, forcing the LAPD to go on a city-wide tactical alert.
As reported by CBS2 Los Angeles, businesses were forced to shut down, as the crowds swarmed the streets of Pacoima and Huntington Park. LAPD called upon the California Highway Patrol to help them shut down all traffic in the area.
The police had ordered an issue of dispersal, but groups of Mexico fans ignored the directive and persisted to move through the streets, blocking traffic and stopping the cars as they tried to make their way home. In Pacoima, the LAPD tried to get ahead of the crowd, as they moved eastward on San Fernando Blvd., to stop them from creating more havoc.
In Huntington Park, it took a massive presence of police to put an end to the marauding fans moving through the streets, forcing businesses along the way to close their stores. Raucous crowds had stopped one pickup truck and taunted the driver by violently shaking it and climbing on the hood and into the truck bed.
One female fan responded to a reporter, when asked about the disorderly behavior, “Why not, we have to celebrate. It’s in our blood, it’s for Mexico, it’s for our parents.” Citlalli Cruz, who runs an aerobic center that had to shut down, lamented, “A lot of businesses had to shut down right now because everybody is just too scared. Everybody should be celebrating. I’m Mexican, I’m proud of my country, but I don’t think this is the right way to celebrate. We are really getting out of control.”
Mounted police, sheriff deputies, and police in riot gear worked to push the massive crowd westward and keep people from gathering in one area. Some who were not there celebrating got caught up in the mayhem: “The cops are there behind you and keep pushing you. I’m just trying to get out of the way… just leave.”
Police made four arrests for public intoxication and throwing bottles at officers. According to CBS, during the 2010 World Cup, celebrations in Huntington Park turned to political unrest. The police felt that they avoided that today. Nevertheless, the LAPD will be hyper-vigilant for unrest and disturbances that may ensue after this coming Sunday’s game between Mexico and the Netherlands.