- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles police say five officers were hit by debris and had minor injuries in downtown celebrations that followed the Lakers’ championship victory over the Orlando Magic.

Police Sgt. Andy Mathes says one of the officers was taken to a hospital and the others were treated at the scene during the scattered melees that erupted late Sunday night before the crowd around the Staples Center dispersed under orders from police.

What began as a lively but peaceful celebration took on a different tone for those remaining a few hours after the game. Some in the crowd vandalized buses and police cars, set small fires and threw rocks and bottles at police.

Police say 18 people were arrested for disturbing the peace, arson and other infractions.

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