MTV Video Music Awards
Melee Erupts At System Of A Down Show
A free concert intended to be a gift from hard rock act System Of A Down to its fans yesterday (Sept. 3) in Los Angeles turned into a stage-swarming, speaker-tossing melee that resulted in six arrestsA free concert intended to be a gift from hard rock act System Of A Down to its fans yesterday (Sept. 3) in Los Angeles turned into a stage-swarming, speaker-tossing melee that resulted in six arrests and left some police officers with minor injuries. The group had set up a stage in a city parking lot, but it never had a chance to begin its show. Fire inspectors shut down the concert after deciding the crowd had grown too large.
That's when disappointed fans got angry, rushing the stage, toppling over speakers, and grabbing the musicians' gear. Officers in helmets shot rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd estimated at between 3,500 and 10,000, police Officer Jason Lee said.
"They were a hostile crowd. They were throwing rocks, bottles and debris at the officers and [mounted patrol] horses," police official David Kalish said.
Glass doors and windows were broken at some businesses, including the Hollywood Athletic Club, as members of the crowd began to run. Police said there was no looting. The six people arrested were booked for various charges including assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft, and receiving stolen property, police said. Names of those arrested were not immediately available.
Several officers and concertgoers were treated for minor injuries. System Of A Down lost most of its equipment, including a drum set, guitars, and speakers.
Band members said they had wanted to reward their fan base with a free outdoor concert on the eve of the release of their new American Recordings album, "Toxicity." "We're from Los Angeles and we wanted to give them kind of a hometown thank you," lead singer Serj Tankian said. "But we're definitely overwhelmed and stressed out at how things turned out."
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