Mexico World Cup Fans Force Ramp Shutdowns on 5 Freeway in Pacoima

Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2014

Crowds of soccer fans celebrating Mexico’s World Cup win poured onto the streets in the Pacoima area, forcing authorities to shut down offramps and onramps on the 5 Freeway and declare a citywide police alert.

The crowds were facing off with officers near Laurel Canyon and Van Nuys boulevards. Late Monday, officers declared an unlawful assembly and ordered crowds to disperse.

Around the same time, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a tactical alert, which requires officers citywide to remain on duty.

Fans on the streets cleared the streets as officers on foot and in patrol cars moved in, according to television news footage. At least two people were taken into custody.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Monday, LAPD’s Foothill Division declared a “peaceful end to the unlawful assembly.”

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Large groups of fans–some of them waving green-red-and-white Mexican flags–were roaming the area, according to television news footage. Some people surrounded a vehicle and began rocking it.

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