Fired-up fans6/25/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Some Los Angeles newspeople compared the local reaction to the Los Angeles Lakers' victory over the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals last week with the riots that followed the acquittal of four police officers in a state court for beating Rodney King.
Several news vans were among those inside Staples Center parking lots with smashed windows, and one parked outside, owned by KCBS-TV, was vandalized and attacked.
As police moved crowds away from the arena, reporter Helen Kumari was assaulted as she tried to report outside the van, and shouted for her colleagues to leave the vehicle to protect themselves. Although cameraman Chris Zamarano was able to exit the vehicle with a station camera, several thousand dollars in equipment was stolen as "Laker fans" gathered.
Kumari continued to report amid the violence. In addition, her purse, which was inside the van and carried her wedding ring, was stolen. But she not only did her live report from outside the Staples Center, but she also returned to the station-badly shaken, colleagues said-and filed for the morning news before leaving the station at 5 a.m.