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Arsonist arrested for torching cab after 2010 Lakers championship victory

May 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An arsonist has been arrested for allegedly torching a taxicab during a melee outside Staples Center after the Lakers' 2010 championship victory.

Investigators say Darren Cooper has been charged with one count of arson for his role in the June 2010 violence after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics.

Police were able to connect Cooper to the cab fire after an intense two-year investigation. They say Cooper, who is from San Bernardino, was already in custody on a domestic violence charge when he was also connected to the burning of another taxicab two weeks ago.

City leaders are asking for the public's help to identify five other arson suspects, also wanted for setting fires outside Staples Center that night.

"This arrest illustrates crime will not be tolerated in L.A. regardless of the circumstances," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In addition to the torched cab and other fires, rioters rocked cars, smashed windows and threw objects at fans and officers. There were 45 arrests in the days after the melee.

If you have any information regarding the riot or the remaining five suspects, you're urged to contact the Los Angeles Fire Department at (213) 893-9800.

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