Security Footage, YouTube, Flickr Lead to Multiple Arrests After Lakers Melee
“It’s nearly impossible to stay anonymous in this age of cell phones, video, and social websites; and that’s a good thing, if it holds people more accountable for their behavior,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of LAPD detectives downtown, today about the 20th arrest related to the Lakers Championship melee on June 14th (a list of all arrests are embedded below). Detectives have been using security footage from around downtown, complementing it with videos and images posted on websites like YouTube and Flickr.
24-year-old Michael Rivas of Hawaiian Gardens was that 20th arrest after photos were found of him allegedly looting the Shell station on Olympic Boulevard. “In the pictures, Mr. Rivas is laughing as he loads cases of soft drinks into a car,” said Vernon. “He wasn’t laughing when we showed up at his job to arrest him last Friday.” Rivas is a security guard at Whittier hospital, where he was arrested and later charged with burglary, with a special circumstance for looting.
Officials are using Rivas' arrest as an example to all. “We hope this arrest will be a deterrent to irresponsible, impulsive behavior during large gatherings downtown,” said Captain Blake Chow, who commands the downtown Central Police Station.