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Giants’ win turns violent


Giants’ win turns violent

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The celebration in San Francisco’s streets following the Giants’ World Series victory started off peaceful but quickly turned raucous and violent, as revellers vandalized police cars and businesses and pelted officers with bottles.

Fans initially gathered in the streets and uncorked champagne, dancing and hugging strangers after Wednesday’s night win. The 3-2 victory was the Giants’ third World Series championship in five years. That happy spirit quickly turned to havoc, however.

Four police cars were damaged by graffiti and five others had windows smashed, Police Chief Greg Suhr said. Three police officers went to a hospital with minor injuries. Many more, including Suhr, were hit with bottles but were not badly injured and kept working.

Businesses were tagged with graffiti but individual damage estimates were still being compiled Thursday. Suhr said “99.9 percent of the fans were well-behaved but about 100 near the ballpark and in the Mission district marred the party.

“To the clowns that came to San Francisco to act out, I guess you just don’t know what it’s like to have a good time without being a jerk, and we had a lot of them last night,” Suhr said.

A majority of the 40 arrests were for public drunkenness, but people also went to jail for assaults, gun possession and outstanding warrants, Suhr said.

Violence left four people injured in separate incidents, but it was not yet known if the shootings and stabbings were linked to World Series revelry, police said. Authorities said a 54-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were stabbed in separate incidents in the city’s Mission district late Wednesday and early Thursday, respectively. Both were expected to live. A 19-year-old man was shot in the arm in the same neighbourhood Wednesday, and another person walked into a hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, police said. No arrests had yet been made.

Most of the mayhem was fans spraying beer, smashing bottles in the streets, lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks.

Suhr said the force was beefed up by about 20 percent Wednesday night, with officers in protective gear lined up three rows deep. The raucous behaviour did not compare to the mayhem following the 2012 victory, when revellers lit a bus on fire.

“For me, I would say we did far better (than in 2012) in the way of damage to property and fires,” Suhr said.

Police said a noon parade down Market Street is planned for Friday, with up to two million people expected to come out and watch the floats and see the players.