And The Hits Just Keep Coming!
LOS ANGELES — Police engaged in a roughly one-hour standoff with a knife-wielding man on the arena floor of Staples Center before the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday afternoon.
About 25 arena security guards descended on the man shortly after he was spotted walking onto the court with a knife, and kept him surrounded until police arrived.
He eventually made his way to the visiting bench, which he stood in front of while talking to three Los Angeles police officers who had their guns drawn on him from approximately 20 feet away, at different angles.
Police tackled and detained the man at 11:20 a.m. local time after he made a move toward a tunnel leading off the court. He was placed in handcuffs and escorted out of the area by the police.
The court was reopened to players, media and arena employees 18 minutes later.
Some spectators for the 12:30 p.m. game had begun filing into the arena, but were evacuated once the standoff started. Players from both teams watched the drama unfold on a small TV monitor outside the Cavaliers’ dressing room before they were instructed to return to their locker rooms.
Police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said the report of the man with a knife came in shortly after 11 a.m. from an off-duty officer and confirmed his arrest, but had no further information about his identity or how he got into the arena.
Michael Roth, a spokesman for Staples Center owner AEG, had no comment about the incident, but said it would not affect the game.
Another Clippers official said building administrators insisted there would be no delay from the scheduled tipoff because the Los Angeles Kings were scheduled to play the Anaheim Ducks at 7:30 p.m. local time.
Information from ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher and The Associated Press was used in this report.