No arrests in weekend stabbing at Washignton Avenue Armory as officials seek answers

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – No arrests have been made following a Migos concert at the Washington Avenue Armory over the weekend where six were stabbed and a woman was robbed.

What was supposed to be a 10:30 p.m. concert for the rap group Migos, turned to madness. The group left crowds inside waiting for more than an hour and a half; one concert goer had a front row seat and told NEWS10 the unruly crowd was more like a riot than a rap concert.

“People getting hit with rails like this and getting knocked out, getting totally knocked out floor unconscious,” they said.

A total of six stabbing incidents and a assault and robbery were all reported to police within a one hour period Saturday morning between 12:50 and 1:50 a.m.:

  • 12:30 a.m. Officers responded to a report of a robbery at the 700 block of State Street. The 19-year-old victim told officers that while she was at the Armory she was followed into the bathroom by six unknown suspects. The victim states that while inside the bathroom, all six suspects began to punch and kick her face and body while stealing from her purse. All of the suspects fled the scene with the victim’s property. The victim sustained minor injuries to her face and head during the incident.
  • 12:50 a.m. Officers responded to Armory for a report of a stabbing, the 21-year-old male victim said he was stabbed by an unknown suspect while in the Armory. He was treated at the scene and transported to Albany Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
  • Minutes later, a 23-year-old male was located at the Armory who said he was stabbed by an unknown suspect while walking out of the building.
  • 12:55 a.m. Albany Memorial Hospital notified police that a 17-year-old male had entered the emergency room with an apparent stab wound. The victim said he was involved in a large fight inside the Armory where he was stabbed by an unknown suspect.
  • 1 a.m. Albany Medical Center Hospital notified police that a 28-year-old male entered the emergency room with an apparent stab wound. The victim said he was stabbed by an unknown suspect while at the Armory. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries
  • 1:35 a.m. Officers responded to a home on Sherman Street for a report of two stabbings. The 16-year-old and 22-year-old victims told officers they were stabbed by an unknown suspect while at the Armory.They were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Video posted online shows what unfolded inside the venue.

The Armory later issued the following statement:

“The Armory is deeply disturbed and regrets the unfortunate incidents that took place at the concert on Friday night. While the majority of patrons come to the arena to enjoy a show, there are the few who come to the show with malicious intentions and clearly to ruin the experience for those who attend. The Armory’s management and security personnel have been in contact with the Albany Police Department and community leaders to continue to discuss this particular situation to protect patrons’ safety at all of our shows,” said Michael Corts, general manager of the Armory.

But community leaders and Albany’s Mayor Kathy Sheehan are asking why police on patrol outside during the massive fight weren’t contacted earlier?

“I mean being stabbed in some serious things, especially when you come out with six or seven stabbings, you know, to me it sounds like someone was just walking around the crowd sticking people,” said Ronald Bailey of the Albany Common Council. “If the police is right here, somebody should have come out and said, this is what happened inside.”

Mayor Sheehan says that it is the venue’s job to provide proper security.

“Clearly there was a lack of control in that facility and a lack of safety for people who came out to a concert in the city of Albany and that is just unacceptable,” she said.

But a spokesperson for the Armory, Joe Bonilla, says they had a security team of more than 35, including five officers from the Albany Police Department, and that the groups late arrival and riled up crowd is really to blame.

The Armory is considering banning “those type of events, to ban these type of shows where artists like the Migos act inappropriately.”

But Mayor Sheehan says banning these types of events at the Armory has been tried and failed in the past. She hopes the city’s investigation will shed light on where the city can take the venue from here.

The Washington Avenue Armory issued a second statement Monday that states several security precautions and procedures were arranged as part of the concert. The Armory says event security staff comprised of 35 private security guards, four EMTs, and five Albany Police officers.

[Click here for the full list of precautions, procedures]

“The Armory aims on providing a safe environment for all its patrons. These types of artists, however, encourage the wrong behavior. As a result, Migos is now banned from the Armory and the Armory will not be hosting these types of artists in the future,” said the statement.

Mayor Sheehan has a meeting set up with city leaders on Tuesday to figure out what legal actions the city can take to ensure this behavior never happens again.

This isn’t the first time a melee at the Armory has caused uproar. Seven people were arrested in front of the Armory in October 2012 during a “Foam Party”. Shortly after, the Armory developed new policies to “ensure this does not happen again.”

After agreeing to new zoning and safety regulations with the city of Albany, the venue reopened in November 2012. The permission to hold “dance parties” was revoked for a second time when a cease and desist order was filed against them. The order originated from a March 13, 2013 decision by the City of Albany’s Board of Zoning Appeals, which definition of “auditoria” was broadly interpreted as fixed-seating instead of general-assembly.

The saga ended later that month, when the Armory won an important court ruling. A New York State Supreme Court justice ruled in its favor against the City of Albany, allowing the Armory to resume hosting concerts and events inside the historic arena.

Check news10.com for updates and NEWS10 ABC @ 5 p.m. for a full report.

 

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