Updated after the jump: Should a two-year-old really be allowed 30 feet in the air, with only 10 inches of concrete and a 16-inch piece of glass to protect him?
Update, Nov. 22, 12:15 p.m.: what Tang's parents were doing as their son plunged to his death. Originally posted on Nov. 22 at 10:28 a.m.
Luxury came at a price for the family of two-year-old Lucas Anthony Tang last night. The Garden Grove toddler took a fatal
50 30-foot fall (a roughly five three-story drop) from the family's suite seats in the Staples Center around 11 p.m. at about 9 p.m., just after the Los Angeles Lakers won their game to the Golden State Warriors 117-89.
Though a witness reported to the Los Angeles Times that the boy had been moving his arms and legs while being loaded onto a stretcher, Tang was declared dead at 11:40 p.m. at the County-USC Medical Center, according to the coroner.
KNX news radio reported that the
child child's parents may have been trying to take a photo when he tumbled from the highest row of suites on the west side of the sports arena. He was at the Lakers game with his mother, father and 11-year-old sister. According to the Los Angeles Times, his parents had begun looking for the child when they learned that he had fallen.
How a two-year-old was allowed near an open three-story window is still unclear; accordingly, the death is being investigated by the LAPD's abused-child unit.
Update, Nov. 22, 12:15 p.m.: Police say the parents were holding a digital camera. In fact, they may have been taking their two-year-old's photo just before he climbed over the low glass partition between the luxury suite and the open arena.
The adults were flipping through their photos when they realized they had no idea where he had crawled to, the Los Angeles Times reports.
A stock Staples Center statement sent out this morning reads:
"Our condolences and prayers go out to the Tang family. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department on the investigation of this tragedy."
Update: Tang's fall is now estimated to have been 30 feet, onto the stadium's lower-bowl seating.
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L.A. Department of Building and Safety spokesman David Lara said yesterday that the open-air luxury box meets building codes. Tang crawled over 10 inches of concrete and a 16-inch piece of glass.
The real question is whether parents should be bringing small children along. Relays a Weekly commenter below:
I have been in those suites and have been worried about my kids safety and they were 9 & 12 yrs old!!!! I was a wreck the entire time telling them to keep their butts in the seat or they had to sit on the couch behind the rail!!! I honestly feel that the glass could be a bit higher to offer more security I mean even a tipsy adult go head first if there was horse play.... but not to have your child of only 2 yrs old under constant supervision there is no excuse for that.... not even for a second!!!!
With reporting from City News Service.