Police arrest 21 during melee; gunfire heard in crowd
NEW YORK -- Teenagers brawled in the stands at a high school basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night before police cracked down on the melee, which spilled into the streets.
Gunfire was heard as the crowd went from the arena to Times Square, police said. No injuries were reported. Twenty-one people, mostly teenagers, were arrested, police said. Some were charged with disorderly conduct or resisting arrest and one was arrested on a riot charge.
A 17-year-old male was arrested at a subway station on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. He was not the one who fired the shots, police said.
A WCBS-TV camera crew inside the arena caught images of fights breaking out in the stands, including a girl slapping a boy, who in turn hit her. Other boys then jumped him, and police intervened.
The news video also showed police swinging batons at someone who cannot be seen, and the station reported that they were hitting a fan. The police said the incident was under investigation, but had no further comment on the footage.
After the crowd spilled into the streets surrounding the arena, police used crowd control tactics, including officers on horseback and in riot gear. Several fights broke out in nearby subways.
The Public Schools Athletic League's AA division city championship high school basketball game was between Brooklyn rivals Lincoln and Boys & Girls.
The fights started in the third quarter, distracting and displacing many in the crowd of thousands, the New York Times reported Monday. Lincoln won 77-50.