L.A. Official Calls for Probe of Internet Cafes

A Los Angeles city councilman has called for an investigation of violence at so-called Internet cafes, a step that could prompt a crackdown on the popular and controversial sites for PC-based games.

The investigation of the cybercafes, also known as "PC bangs" or "cybercafes," came after a brawl erupted between rival groups playing in a tournament involving the online combat game "Counter Strike."

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine said on Thursday he plans to introduce a motion at a hearing next week asking for a report from the Los Angeles Police Department on recent outbreaks of violence at cybercafes.

One unidentified teenager was shot in the leg on Monday outside an Internet cafe in Northridge, a suburb that is part of Los Angeles. A second youth was struck in the head, reportedly with a chair.

About 100 people had gathered at the NetStreet Internet Cafe at the time of the melee, with witnesses reporting that fighters had wielded metal chairs and pipes. In July a 19-year-old man was shot and killed outside his home as he returned from a gaming session at NetStreet.

In the Orange County city of Garden Grove, south of Los Angeles, police have reportedly been called to the city's cybercafes more than 300 times since June. A city ordinance requires the facilities to post security guards at night.

News source: Reuters - L.A. Official Calls for Probe of Internet Cafes

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