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New low for Jazz-Lakers rivalry? L.A. fan pepper sprays Jazz fan

Published November 8, 2012 11:28 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As usual, among the 19,911 people at sold-out EnergySolutions Arena for Wednesday's game between the Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers, there were plenty of Laker fans in attendance.

"I was very surprised with how many Laker fans are in Utah," first-year Jazz forward Marvin Williams said. "I had heard a couple guys talking about it, but I guess I didn't really know what to expect. So when I came out there I was very shocked."

Well, according to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune, one of those fans went too far.

Janelle Stecklein reports one angry Laker backer sprayed a Jazz fan with pepper spray after trash talking turned to an altercation mid-way through the Jazz's 95-86 win over the Lakers.

Salt Lake City Police Det. Josh Ashdown told The Tribune that two Laker fans attempted to engage a pair of Jazz fans in fisticuffs; the Jazz fans declined the opportunity; the Laker fans were booted. The Laker fans reportedly found their Jazz nemeses outside the arena following the game and one let loose with a can of pepper spray.

Police are still searching for the suspect, who they say is a 5-foot-6, 150-pound Latino male in his 30s, who was (and, depending on the level of his devotion, may still be) wearing a Lakers jersey.

— Bill Oram