LOS ANGELES (AP) — A police investigation was under way Monday in the death of a toddler who plunged from a third-level luxury box at Staples Center after a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game.

The fall occurred Sunday as 2-year-old Lucas Anthony Tang was taking pictures with his family in a skybox with a glass safety barrier that varies in height but is at least several feet high, police Officer Julie Sohn said.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks Reports From Staples Center

“Somehow the child went over the edge of the section and fell to the seating below,” Sohn said.

Fire officials said boy fell 25 to 50 feet.

The case was being handled by the Police Department juvenile division, which investigates deaths of young children and other crimes involving juveniles.

“It’s procedural,” Sohn said of the probe involving Tang, declining to elaborate or discuss possible causes of the fall.

The Garden Grove boy suffered severe head trauma, Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said. However, an official cause of death had not yet been determined.

Witnesses said the boy was moving his arms, legs and head when paramedics put him in an ambulance, said Michael Roth, vice president of communications for Staples Center and owner AEG. The child later died at a hospital.

“Our condolences and prayers go to the Tang family. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department on the investigation of this tragedy,” Roth added in a short prepared statement.

Tang fell several minutes after the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors. There was no immediate word on whether the death would affect the Staples schedule, which included a Monday night game between the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (47)
  1. wendy sumerlin says:

    are you serious, sitting in the Luxery suites means you have some type of good money to afford laker tickets and to sit in the luxery suite seats… I mean was there so much celebrating for the parents after the big win, that they were not even watching there young kid…and 2-3 is extremly young…Well I was not there so I dont know the whole story, either way My thoughts and prayers goes out to the whole family including there mom and dad…that must have been the worst possible thing that could have happened….and they must feel so bad…Let go…and let god help in the healing process. God bless

    1. alan hart says:

      The Lakers could have lost.

    2. Danny says:

      Doesn’t mean anything sitting in those suites. They could have been invited guests, or the company outing. It does not mean they have money.

    3. Jeff says:

      You’re an idiot, Wendy.

  2. Eddie says:

    All that is required is that parents be responsible and care for the children, this tragedy could have and should have been avoided. I guess this will now become the Staples Center fault, I believe that’s how it works when people are irresponsible.
    May God bless this baby and give the family peace.

  3. Al says:

    Prayers for the family- they must be devastated.

  4. Megan says:

    This is the saddest thing, what a horrible story! 😦 Just goes to show you need to always keep your eyes on your kids, my two year old LOVES being a dare devil I could only imagine what happened here and it breaks my heart. What a horrible loss for that family…

  5. bruce says:

    Where were the parents?????????????????????????????????????????It only takes a second for a child to get out of your sight! Never take your eyes off of your child. Now the parents are paying the price, so sad.

  6. ace says:

    Pretty bad everybody bangin on the parents. You think their happy

    1. Kat says:

      It’s “they’re” not “their.” Americans just keep getting dumber and dumber!

      1. Jeff says:

        Thanks for the English lesson, seeing as how this is a suitable place for it. Who’s dumber, the person who misspelled “their”, or the moron who felt it was appropriate to point out the mistake in a story of a child dying. Kat, you’re pathetic. Go crawl under a rock and stay there.

  7. Richard in Castaic says:

    I’m troubled whenever a young person decides to take their own life. Very sad.

    1. Anna says:

      Take their own life?? He was TWO! What an insensitive thing to post.

      1. mister s says:

        It was a joke Anna, and a funny one. Calm down.

      2. Anna says:

        Again, an insensitive thing to post! It is most certainly NOT a joke to the family and friends of that little boy! My best friend lost her two year old last year. It is a hell unlike any other. So glad that you two have found an opportunity to just stomp all over it.

  8. Bonnie says:

    I didn’t know those things opened up. I thought there was only a door in the rear for accessibility. Knowing I had a small child, I would have never opened up the glass portion..

  9. Claudia P. says:

    That is horrible!!! I understand the parents are going through a difficult time, but the reality lies on parents responsibility to keep their eyes on their kids. You would think having both parents around they would have one, atleast, watching over the young little child. May god bless their souls and ease their hearts of pain & guilt.He was called on by god to be his little angel in heaven. My thoughts & prayers goes out to the family. May God bless you all!

  10. ropelight says:

    Why would anyone take a two year old toddler to a professional basketball game? It was way past his bedtime when the game ended. Would any responsible parent have done that?

    1. alex7iz says:


      You obvioulsy don’t have any children and must be the only child….They took the toddler to the game because they are a family!!!! The bed time of a child doesn’t determine if a parent is responsible or not.. A toddler doesn’t have to get up and go to school the next day,so whether he is in the bed at 730 or 10 pm it really doesn’t matter. The child will have an extra nap the next day or got to bed early….

      I’ve been in the staples center luxury suites (unfortunately not for a Laker game) and can say they are definelty not designed for children. The safety glass is low and easliy accesible. I was on guard dog with with my son and he is six.

      Sorry for the Tang family loss. I have no idea what they are going through. Only God can give them what they need daily

  11. Deborah says:

    I’ve sit in those box seats before they are safe. Apparently they weren’t watching him, for him to squeeze threw the railing, it could have taken him a few minutes to do so. You can’t leave a toddler unattended, for any length of time. My prayers are with this family.

  12. dean says:

    A tragic loss…I feel for the family.

  13. pretty in pink says:

    why is everyone balming the parents. i bet all this people dont have kids. You cannot have your eye on a child everytime. God bless his parents. this is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. We also dont knoe the whole story.

    1. antonio says:

      You are wrong! It is the parents fault and yes you can have your eyes on your kids at all times. We have been to sporting events at staples as recently as last week and my 3 and 4 year old boys never left our sights. Its devestating to lose a child and I hope to never experience that type of loss, but responsibility for this tragedy lies solely on the shoulder of the distracted parents. Don’t make excuses for irresponsibility!

  14. Rob says:

    I feel sad for this loss but I’m a parent of a 10 month baby and believe me you have to keep eyes on kids if you decided to have a family. Now this makes me a way more responsible parent seen to what happened last night. May god bless them.

  15. sramamurti says:

    God bless this sweet child and give lot of courage and support to this greving family through these difficult times.

  16. Myssdmeanour says:

    It is a very sad and tragic story and unless you have lost a child you cannot possibly no how it feels I enjoyed my son for 26 years. To Those of you who keep saying it not the parents fault. It is….They are called toddlers or small children because they cannot take care of their selves. I had 3 children that I raised I agree that as your child grows older you cannot be there every single minute. But when they are that young(toddlers) it is your duty to be….No matter how sad the situation may be. The child fell from 25 to 50 feet. You don’t need to by a vowel to get a clue that it is the parents duty to pay very close attention at that height. Placing blame won’t bring the child back but learning from this mishaps could prevent

  17. asdf says:

    what are you all nuts?? this poor child is dead. spend your energy on doing something good for the family, not bashing them for all to see. Neglectful or not, this child is dead and trust me these parents are now the victims.

  18. Anna says:

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves for beating down these parents. The fact that they are in an enclosed room alone makes for a much safer environment for their child. I’m sure that they thought it was a very safe place for their child to be.

    And to those of you saying, “you have to keep your eye on your child at ALL times.” Physically impossible. Are you telling me that you do NOTHING all day but follow your child around? You don’t ever use the bathroom, make dinner, clean the house OR go to work and leave them at daycare? In my opinion, those of you that leave your defenseless infants at a daycare institution are FAR more irresponsible.

    All of you are aware that these things take but a second. So while one parent is taking the other kid to the bathroom, all the other parent has to do is bend down to get something out of the diaper bag, or turn around to grab something and then this tragedy happens. You have NO concept of what was going on so don’t you dare to start placing judgment and blame on the shoulders of a couple who have just experienced the deepest tragedy in life. I guarantee that they will be blaming themselves for the REST of their lives…they don’t need ignorant bystanders casting the first stone.

    Back off.

    1. mister s says:

      Lets wait and see if the Tangs file a lawsuit against staples center. If they do, then they arent taking responsibility. But if they don’t file one, then perhaps they do realize it was their fault. I’d bet one is filed within a month.

      1. ginny25 says:

        mister s, I do agree with your comment. At the same time my thoughts are with the family over their tragic and avoidable loss.

  19. Rimmington says:

    Richard in Castiac, you are so funny. Maybe the kid was gay.

  20. Cece says:

    Accidents happen and can happen to the best of us. Stop being so crititcal. Distractions are a part of human error otherwise there would be no accidents (car accidents, etc.) It only takes one second for an active toddler to get themselves in a dangerous situation. The parents probably thought the suite was enclosed and safe and took their eyes for a second and the kid climbed over. It’s sad and unfortunate. I used to think it was cruel to put toddlers on leashes but to avoid a costly distraction in a matter of seconds I would highly recommend leashes for active kids. Prayers to the family.

    1. mister s says:

      I personally think leash laws should be mandatory for every kid under a certain age. It can keep them safe, out of other peoples way, and wouldn’t necessarily require the parents to have eyes on them every second.

  21. ANGELA says:

    If you are in your own home you know how safe it is since you take precautions to make it that way. If you are in a place like this you should never take your eyes off of your toddler. Kids in a new place & kids are very curious.

  22. antonio says:

    Leash laws mandatory? Are you insane? Keep the children out of peoples way? Wow, where do you come up with this stupidity?! I hope that you never have kids and that your family line ends with you because you are really a warped human being.

    1. mister s says:

      Actually Ill have a daughter in a few months. and when she is old enough and we are in a crowded public venue, she will have a leash. Everytime I go to Seaworld I see a few more smart parents who are doing their job and keeping their kids under control with them. People who think its ok to let their kids run around and do whatever w/o discpline causing disruptions for everyone else… those are the people that need to be sterilized.

      1. Coach Tony says:

        New Law…Anyone who doesn’t have children CANNOT have an opinion on leashes for kids. You just don’t get it and you won’t until you have MORE than one kid. A leash on a kid is nothing more than a CRUTCH for lazy parents.

        This is a great topic. Too bad most of you folks are on the west coast. I host a youth sports radio show in NY Sundays at 9 am eastern. Would have loved to have some of you call in with your opinions. Anyone in a decent time zone can listen in at my blog http://www.heycoachtony.com and can even post your ideas there.

        This is a tragedy and even though the parents are ultimately at fault, they will suffer severely for the rest of their lives.

        Also unfortunate is that the Staples Center should is not a very old arena and should have more extreme safety measure to avoid accidents like this happening in the first place. They will be sued and they WILL lose. This however will not bring this child back…very sad.

  23. Long John says:

    Tragic Incident. My condolences to the family and I’m sorry for your loss.
    Although I don’t have all the facts, this seems to be a case of basic neglegence. Parents must be hyper-vigilant in the care of their children… ALWAYS. As this story proves, it only take a second and tragedy can strike. Staples Ctr. doesn’t have the responsibilty to look after each and every individual in it’s Arena. (Although, it might want to revisit it’s “railing gaps”). It’s up to all parents to provide basic safety for their children. Parents need to PARENT! Still tragic though.Peace.

  24. RM says:

    several people have said the parents must have “THOUGHT” the suite was safe. WHO TOLD THEM TO THINK when you have kids AND YES I HAVE 5 of my own YOU do not THINK you have to KNOW ITS SAFE if its a place you have never been or seldom go to you have to ASSUME its not safe and watch your child at all times there are 3 diffrent partys involved here the PARENTS the CHILD and the ARENA the arena is not at fault its not their duty to watch your kids
    the child is not at fault he was only 2 so that leaves the parents who ARE AT FAULT both parents were there so one of them needed to be watchin the child
    clearly the child was off doing his own thing to fall out of the place so plain and simple THE PARENTS ARE AT FAULT

  25. jujubee1 says:

    I don’t have children, I understand a parent can’t watch them 24/7. I agree with the posters who say a 2-year old has no businessat a sporting event. How can a child that age appreciate it? No one can undetstand what these parents are going through except another parent who has lost a child. They will be in pain forever. But, I absolutely agree that the parents are responsible for their child’s death – they were taking pictures (of what is not important) and not paying attention to their child. But, somehow it will be the fault of Staples Center that this sad, tragic event occurred. I do have sympathy for the parents, I just don’t understand how they could not make their their primary focus.

  26. Anna says:

    How about this scenario to all of you that think it is “absolutely the parent’s fault”. What if they were all taking a family picture, with the court in the background, and the toddler suddenly threw himself backwards (like ALL toddlers do) and tumbled over the side? You all have NO IDEA what actually happened!!! How can you place blame when you don’t even know HOW he fell?? Further more, you don’t know that the Staples Center wasn’t to blame. Because, again, YOU DON’T KNOW THE DETAILS! The glass could have given way, or the barrier may not have been up to code – who knows! Stop crucifying these parents!

    1. mister s says:

      How bout this scenario for you Anna. The parenys saw the toddler crawling over the barrier and they let him so they could try and score some lawsuit cash? Absurd right? But since you have no more detail than the rest of us, then my scenario is just as viable as yours. You are obviously too easily offended to be on these comment boards.

    2. Coach Tony says:

      Wow, Anna…you can’t possibly have children. No parent would ever put a toddler close to the edge of ANYTHING!!!! You’re right that we all need to get more details but the scenario you painted here is just plain stupid and even if this ridiculous scene actually took place, it would STILL be the parents fault for putting their kid in a precarious situation. The parents don’t need to be crucified but either way, the ultimate responsibility is theirs.

  27. Tom says:

    Someone needs to pull the building permit inspections and see that when Staples Center was built it did NOT pass several safety inspections INCLUDING the heights of the glass protecting people from falling over edges on all levels. The Mayor at the time signed off on these infractions to get the project opened on time.

  28. GEORGE says:

    your one cool lady and ur right about everything you wrote , some of theses emailers dont have a clue about life, and what family is all about , your class yes the parents will never forgive them selves there parents . rest in pease little ONE god loves you and your mom and dad

  29. may marin says:

    my deepest symphaty to the family specially to his mother and father. May the angels take care of him in Heaven and may send the holy spirit to heal his parents broken heart. God Bless…..

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