Raider fans turn rowdy after loss
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 12:43 a.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. - Rowdy crowds set cars on fire, pelted passing vehicles with rocks and bottles and vandalized a fast food restaurant Sunday night following the Oakland Raiders' loss in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Police in riot gear responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, and briefly closed some stretches of city streets. At least 23 people were arrested, mostly for public intoxication, police said.
At least two cars were set on fire, and a television news van had its windows broken. One group of young men set debris on fire in the middle of a street and then posed for news photographers. Tear gas wafted through the area, and some witnesses picked up rubber bullets fired by police.
After the Raiders advanced to the Super Bowl last week, crowds set fires, broke windows and threw rocks and bottles. Oakland officials had vowed to prevent a repetition of the violence following the Super Bowl, and hundreds of extra officers were assigned to work Sunday.
The favored Raiders were routed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-21.
When the trouble broke out, huge squads of officers marched through the streets, and authorities closed off some areas of the city.
Some shop owners in the area of last week's violence closed at kickoff time, hoping to avoid trouble.
At Q's Clothing, Nader Qutov, the owner's nephew, said he was closing early, although before the game he also hawked Raiders t-shirts to eager fans.
Many of the Raider faithful flocked to watch the game at Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill, where more than 80 televisions show every Raider game and die-hard fans can comb through the gift shop for Raider keepsakes.
"I drove an hour and a half just to be with my family," said a Raider fan who insists on going by the name of Gorilla Rilla. "We are a Raider family."
For the team's first trip to the Super Bowl in almost two decades, Ricky's owner brought in a 20-foot, high-definition television and added a $25 cover charge.
Some fans made sure they arrived in time. Dennis Giovanetti said he showed up at Ricky's at 7 a.m. to make sure he could get a prime seat.
"My breakfast was reading the paper," he said. "I couldn't be here early enough."
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