Knife-Wielding L.A. Man Hold Security, Police At Bay Before Game At Staples Center

By Randall Stevens  |  03/20/2011

Staples CenterAn L.A. man, wielding a steak knife, held police and security guards at bay at the Staples Center on Saturday (March 19), just hours before the Los Angeles Clippers' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to reports, the unidentified man entered Staples Centers through an employee entrance. Although security tried to block his entry, but the man was brandishing the blade and made his way through.

He eventually made it all the way to the arena floor, where he was met by 25 security staffers who surrounded him until police arrived. From there, he made his way to the bench, where he spoke to three police officers with their guns drawn from approximately 20 feet away.

The center's general manager, Lee Zeidman, told the Associated Press that the man made no demands or offer a motive for his actions.

"He was talking a lot of gibberish, making a lot of veiled threats, and nobody could really understand him," Zeidman said. "There were no specific demands. He told us: 'Just back away or else you're going to get hurt. Leave me alone. I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to get whatever I want.'"

The man was eventually shot with a beanbag gun by plice and detained him after he made a move toward a tunnel leading off the court.

He was placed in handcuffs and escorted out by police.

No attendees of the game were in the building at the time of the incident, said the report. All of the spectators with VIP access were evacuated once the incident began.

Players from both teams watched the drama unfold on a TV outside the Cavaliers' dressing room before they were instructed to return to their locker rooms.

Details regarding the man's arrest were not known at press time.