Armed Man Charges Staples Center Court at Saturday’s Game
Attendees at the Clippers/Cavaliers game Saturday at the Staples Center were evacuated from the stadium after a man charged the court-with a knife. The crazed man ran onto the court before the game as Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Christian Eyenga was shooting drills. He then wildly began brandishing the weapon and incoherently yelling and cursing. Eyenga, a Congolese native, managed to escape into the locker room. After a 20 minute stand-off with police, the man was subdued with bean bags and rubber bullets.
Authorities still have no idea exactly why the man charged the court, or why a knife was his weapon of choice. He was able to gain access to the game by threatening his way through an employee entrance, and for some reason chose the court as the ideal place to attack. General Manager and Senior Vice President of the Staples Center Lee Zeidman briefed the media over the strange intruder:
He was talking a lot of gibberish, making a lot of threats and nobody could understand him…There was a lot of vulgarity, a lot of statements that didn't make any sense. We, quite frankly, don't understand why he tried to do this. There were no specific demands.
Thankfully, since the potential attacker chose a knife as his weapon of choice, fans were not hurt or directly threatened. The teams were even in a joking mood after the man was taken into custody. Cavaliers Coach Byron Scott joked about Eyenga (who speaks limited English) and his reaction to the threat:
Smart man. He understands knife, I guess. I think that goes all the way to Congo. Knife means get the hell out. So he did the right thing.
For those concerned about the game, it was barely affected. Tip-off time was moved back just 15 minutes, with the Clippers winning 100 to 92.