Police Shoot Tear Gas to Disperse Hot 97 Summer Jam Crowds, 61 Arrested

More than 60 people were arrested when mayhem erupted at the Hot 97 Summer Jam 2015 at MetLife Stadium, where angry people in the crowd threw bottles at New Jersey State Police blocking the gates and troopers used tear gas to try to disperse them, authorities said Monday.

State police said crowds of people tried to "illegally" force their way into the sold-out concert Sunday night, climbing over fences and pushing their way through stadium security personnel and cops clad in riot gear. The gates to the stadium were shut and troopers were called in to help maintain order; they had trash and bottles thrown at them, and 10 troopers suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

An armored state police vehicle began blasting a piercing loud noise to try to disperse the crowd and police later deployed tear gas. Pepper spray was also used.

Most of the 61 arrested were concertgoers who tried to scale fences and push their way, police said. They face charges ranging from disorderly behavior to soliciting without a permit to trespassing, possession of a weapon and assault.

Photos and video on Twitter and Instagram showed large crowds, trash-strewn streets and barricades overturned in the stadium's parking lot. 

Images also showed police in riot gear using large military-style vehicles to try to disperse the crowds.

"Major disturbance at Summer Jam -- fans vs State Police," @ChrisFHJordan tweeted.

Concertgoers told NBC 4 New York people who legally bought tickets that cost hundreds of dollars were turned away and told to leave. Emmis New York, which owns the radio station Hot 97, said they'll refund tickets for those people.

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"When fans realized tickets were not available at the box office, a small number of people created an unsafe environment, and for the safety of all guests, the New Jersey State Police were on scene to disperse the crowd. The gates were closed at that time. No further entry was permitted into the event," the radio station said in a statement.

Artists Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Big Sean were all scheduled to play at the event, billed as "the hottest hip hop event of the year."

Laura Stylez of the Hot 97 morning show criticized those who threw bottles at police, and DJ Ebro Darden said Monday that fans shouldn't have tried to jump the fence to get inside the venue. 

"You cannot throw bottles at police," Stylez said on air Monday. "What is wrong with you?"

"We feel disappointed by the activity of a small group of people that really turned it into something it didn't have to be, which was chaos," Darden told WPIX-TV. "There were tens of thousands of people inside who had a great time. ... We're not going to allow a few people to jump fences, be aggressive with the state police and allow the doors to remain open."

“A small group of highly disruptive people ruined this concert for many others. They created a danger to ticket-holders, stadium employees, and troopers on the scene. Our troopers took the appropriate steps to restore order to what was a brief and volatile situation,” Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said in a statement.

Fifty-one people were arrested at the event last year, authorities said.  

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