Swarming B2K Fans Shut Down Mall
More than 1,000 teenagers waiting for an autograph signing session with the teen R&B band B2K swarmed a Concord, Calif., record store yesterday (March 18), prompting authorities to briefly shut doMore than 1,000 teenagers waiting for an autograph signing session with the teen R&B band B2K swarmed a Concord, Calif., record store yesterday (March 18), prompting authorities to briefly shut down the Sun Valley Mall. A spokesperson said the mall expected a couple hundred fans for the 6 p.m. signing at Sam Goody. But 1,500 teenagers and parents arrived, some lining up hours in advance.
"People got tired of waiting and wanted to make sure they got an autograph, so they rushed the store," the spokesperson said, noting that no one was hurt, but two girls were treated at the scene for hyperventilation. Authorities immediately shut down the signing and evacuated the store. No damage was done and the mall reopened about 8 p.m.
"It was a horrifying experience," said Concord resident Mary Kindrick, who brought her teen-age daughter and three friends to the mall for autographs. "There were too many kids. They were crammed in there like sardines. They were just not prepared for them."
Fights had broken out by the time mall officials called police shortly before 7 p.m., Concord Police Lt. Stuart Roloson said. No weapons were found and no arrests were made, he said. There were no arrests or injuries because the crowd was "overwhelmingly cooperative," said Police Lt. Keith Whitaker. "It was a relief."
The manager of the store where the event took place refused comment.
B2K is currently promoting its self-titled Epic debut, which was released last Tuesday. First single "Uh Huh" peaked in January at No. 20 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and last month at No. 38 on The Billboard Hot 100. New single "Gots Ta Be" debuted last week at No. 82 on the R&B tally.
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