Updated October 22
Albany police say they arrested seven people at the Washington Ave Armory Thursday night after a large crowd outside the event there -- a foam party -- allegedly "became disorderly and began to fight with police."
From the APD press release: "[A] large influx of attendees overwhelmed the Armory's capacity at its entrance and resulted in an extremely unsafe condition in which people waiting in line began to be crushed against barricades. Several individuals needed to be pulled to safety by responding police and Armory staff."
That's when the APD alleges the crowd became combative. APD says three officers were injured. Full press release post jump.
We did not over sell. We sold 1000 less than capacity. Ass***** acted like ass***** and f***** it up for the good people
And its description of what happened is roughly similar to the APD's description (using somewhat different language).
News10 talked to a few people who said they were outside the Armory when it all went down: "My hair was being pulled, I was punching people yelling to get off," a SUNY Plattsburgh student told the station. [News10]
In a statement released via email, the Washington Ave Armory's Michael Corts says it "deeply regrets the incidents that occurred outside the building on October 18th and are taking serious, immediate action regarding the entry procedure processes as well as other measures that continue keep our patrons, public safety officials and the neighborhood safe during The Armory's events." (statement below)
APD: Seven Arrested at Washington Avenue Foam Party
Albany police arrested seven people last night in front of the Washington Avenue Armory after a large crowd became disorderly and began to fight with police.
The Washington Avenue Armory hosted an event known as a "Foam Party". At approximately 10:00 PM, a large influx of attendees overwhelmed the Armory's capacity at its entrance and resulted in an extremely unsafe condition in which people waiting in line began to be crushed against barricades. Several individuals needed to be pulled to safety by responding police and Armory staff.
As officers began to disperse the crowd of nearly 2,000, several attendees became combative. During the incident, three officers were injured. Two of the officers were treated on scene and one was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital after having a bleach-like liquid thrown in his eyes.
The following were arrested:
+ David Briggs, 20, of 1057 Washington Avenue Albany was charged with Riot 2nd and Resisting Arrest.
+ Matthew O'Connell, 19, 515 Loudon Road Loudonville was charged with Riot 2nd and Resisting Arrest.
+ Michael Saracena, 19, of 107 Sunset Terrace Troy was arrested and charged with Riot 2nd.
+ Tyler Blake, 21, of 34 Foxglove Way Ballston Spa was charged with Disorderly Conduct.
+ Shannon Dunn, 21, of 40 Ridgeview Patterson was charged with Disorderly Conduct.
+ Nicole Walker, 18, of 1755 River Road, Ravena was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.
+ Alex Young, 19, of 3214 Capital Street, Allentown (PA) was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Possession of a Forged Instrument.
All seven were arraigned this morning in the Albany City Criminal Court.
October 18th Washington Avenue Incident: Response from The Armory
The Washington Avenue Armory deeply regrets the incidents that occurred outside the building on October 18th and are taking serious, immediate action regarding the entry procedure processes as well as other measures that continue keep our patrons, public safety officials and the neighborhood safe during The Armory's events.
New policies are being developed that encompass improved systems to ensure this does not happen again. In brief, The Armory will:
1. Require dance party style events have a doors open policy at no later than 7pm
2. Require dance party style events will end no later than 12am on weekdays, and 1am on weekend and holiday nights
3. Initiate a new will call window made available the entire event day
+ A major takeaway is the amount of time it takes for staff to check a patron in is significant, and the process only lengthens when hundreds of eager concert goers are waiting.
+ Adding this new will call window will result in masses now able to redeem their online ticket purchase at anytime, rather than waiting until doors open
+ Ticket purchasers will now be able to check in with their online purchase proof and receive their hard copy ticket at anytime during the day, which will lighten the will call line in the evening
4. No longer hold a line of people outside the building, rather begin the check in process and allow entry
+ In the anticipated event of a major walk-up, doors will open early to clear the front of the building
5. Separate the entrance process into 3 areas of entry:
1) Will call
+ Separate line to check in online purchasers
2) Tickets in hand
+ Separate line for those who have purchased a hard copy ticket, or redeemed their online purchase for a hard copy ticket during the day
+ Expedited entry
3) Box office
+ For new, walk-up night of purchases
+ Expedited entry
+ New signage is being created to help clearly communicate where patrons should go for entrance based on their ticket situation
+ This will also assist the final portion of entry where our diligent security staff is responsible for a thorough screening process
The Armory will also require additional security at these style events to further reiterate our commitment to safety as well as continue to confer with Albany Police and EMTs. We recommend including all parties (APD, EMTs, Armory Management, Security, Event Producer) in a pre event meeting to prepare, reiterate best practices as well as review entry procedures based on ticket sales and expected walk-up attendance.
We are confident that in taking these new steps, we will alleviate outside patron aggravation that escalates with the unfortunate assistance of the combative few. The Armory is proud in the fact that over the course of the past 12 months, the building has catered to tens of thousands of event attendees with limited, minimal issues that were handled in a swift, safe manner.
Again, The Armory regrets the recent incidents that took place outside of the building. We are truly appreciative of the ongoing support of our neighbors and are confident this isolated incident is not a reflection of the positive impact our multi-use arena has created for our community.
We respect and welcome feedback, comments, thoughts and recommendations on how we can continue to provide quality, safe events. Please feel free to contact me directly in the event there are additional questions, concerns, etc.
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