Autopsy set for boy who fell at Staples

Published Nov. 23, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

An autopsy was planned Tuesday for a 2-year-old boy who died after plunging from a skybox at Staples Center.

Police and paramedics said Lucas Anthony Tang suffered massive head injuries in the Sunday night fall, but an official cause of death must be determined.

Results of the autopsy probably will not be released until Wednesday, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said. He had no details about the boy's fall.

The boy fell from a third-level luxury box and landed on a row of seats minutes after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors. He died at a hospital.

The Police Department's juvenile division launched a probe and the arena also was investigating.

The LAPD's juvenile division procedurally investigates sudden deaths of children under 11, and the probe did not necessarily indicate a crime was involved, Officer Julie Sohn said.

A Garden Grove home believed to be the boy's residence was visited by a reporter for The Associated Press on Tuesday. No one answered the door.


Sohn released few details of the incident, saying only that the boy's family was taking photographs and ''somehow the child went over the edge of the section.''

Michael Roth, a spokesman for Staples and owner AEG, said no such incidents have occurred in the 11-year history of the arena.

Roth said the toddler fell from the third tier of boxes, or about 30 feet, into a general seating area about 30 rows up from the court. Each box has tiers of seats with safety glass embedded in concrete walls.

The building is in compliance with city codes, which require guardrails to be at least 26 inches high in front of seats, Department of Building and Safety spokesman David Lara said.

AEG has not released the exact height of the barrier at the point where the toddler fell.

A call to Roth seeking further information on Tuesday was not immediately returned.

The Lakers organization issued a statement expressing shock and sadness at the tragedy.

Monday night's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets went on as scheduled.

Hornets rookie coach Monty Williams was subdued when he brought up the tragedy during his pregame speech.

''To have a child die at a (venue) where you're planning on having a good time, it's got to be a tough, tough thing to go through,'' Williams said. ''Somebody's family has changed in an instant, and then we go right back in here playing — almost like business as usual — while the family is still grieving.''

The arena is home to the NBA's Lakers and Clippers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.