UPDATE: A New Jersey State Police arrested 61 people on a variety of charges and “took the appropriate steps to restore order to what was a brief and volatile situation” after a near-riot erupted outside the Hot 97 Summer Jam at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford last night, NJSP Supt. Col. Rick Fuentes said this afternoon.
Ten troopers were injured in a series of incidents that broke out after people without tickets to the event climbing fences and rushing gates to get in, law enforcement sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Reinforcements in riot gear responded in armed personnel carriers after some fans were trampled when others rushed the entrance.
The box office and gates were closed, leading to a larger disturbance that involved trash and bottles being thrown at State Police, law enforcement officers at the stadium said.
“Troopers used protective equipment including shields and helmets to avoid injuries from flying objects,” Fuentes said. “Additional troopers were called in from nearby stations to assist.
“Noise generators, pepper spray, and tear gas were used to disperse people who refused to clear the area outside of the main gate,” he said.
“Charges for those arrested ranged from soliciting without a permit and trespassing to possession of a weapon and assault,” the colonel said. “The majority of charges were for disorderly behavior.
“Several arrests were made, order eventually was restored and a single gate was initially opened as the concert continued, with many inside not aware that the stadium and parking lots were temporarily locked down.”
The concert was billed as “the hottest hip hop event of the year,” with headliners Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown and Trey Songz.
The parking lots opened at 1:30 p.m. and the stadium gates at 5:30 p.m.
Besides the main stage, performances were held on a stage outside the stadium.
Trouble began around 7 p.m., concert goers and members of law enforcement said.
PHOTO: Courtesy ASBURY PARK PRESS