Rowdy fans burned one police car and destroyed others, torched an overturned taxi and ripped sod from the playing field tonight at Tiger Stadium, where the Detroit Tigers won the World Series against the San Diego Padres.
Late tonight, a 27-year-old Warren, Mich., man was found shot to death downtown. His name was withheld pending notification of his family. A 17-year-old Detroit man was seriously wounded when someone shot into a crowd near the stadium.
Police closed off freeways and a downtown building complex to clear the area, but two hours after the 8-4 victory, more than 1,000 people still milled in the street outside the stadium, occasionally tossing bottles at helmeted police and kicking sides of a smoking squad car.
"They destroyed five of 'em," said a police officer who declined to identify himself. Scores of officers, some in riot gear, and about three dozen mounted police moved in to clear Michigan Avenue, but the crowd dispersed slowly.
The street was clear about 2 1/2 hours after the game ended.
City police announced the closing of the Renaissance Center, a downtown complex of seven high-rise buildings, and all freeways leading into the center of downtown in an effort to clear the area of celebrants. Police also closed Hart Plaza, a riverfront park, and dispersed a rowdy crowd there.
As onlookers watched, a man walked to an overturned taxicab and removed the gasoline tank cap. Minutes later, he tossed a match and it burst into flames with a roar. Later, the crowd tossed a motorcycle into the flames.
Twenty-four people were arrested and an undetermined number of people were injured, but police declined to provide details.
Lying in the middle of the street near the stadium was a man witnesses said was clubbed by police. Maureen Nystrom, 20, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., said she saw police officers hit the man, whom she identified as Anthony Mack.
Rescue vehicles could not get to him because of the crowd. Many streets surrounding the stadium were impassable because of the crowds.
Car horns blared throughout the city's center. Street vendor Ron Smith clung to his pennants. "I'm praying just to survive," he said.
Mabel Kelly, nursing supervisor at Southwest General Hospital, said five people were treated for minor injuries. Kelly said most were head injuries sustained from flying beer bottles.
Witnesses said trouble began minutes before the final out of the game. A group made up mostly of young people outside the stadium formed a "flying wedge" and battered down a wire gate guarded by three policemen.
Hundreds drifted into the stadium a few minutes before the end of the ninth inning.
Attempts by mounted police to disperse the crowd suceeded for short periods, but groups soon reformed and the maneuver had to be repeated several times before it took effect.