HomeNews TranscriptNews Transcript NewsHowell police seek suspects in assault at concert venue

Howell police seek suspects in assault at concert venue

HOWELL – An event that was being held at a venue on Route 9 in Howell turned violent during the late afternoon hours of Nov. 4 and brought numerous police officers to the scene. Police said several individuals were injured in a fight outside the building.

The following day, Nov. 5, Howell police reported that a fight involving multiple attendees at the Loud Fest concert had occurred at GameChanger World. They said several individuals were injured during a melee and were transported to hospitals.

Police were still investigating the incident as of Nov. 6. No arrests had been reported in connection with the incident. Police said interviews were being conducted and surveillance footage is being reviewed.

GameChanger World is on Route 9 south, just south of Strickland Road in Howell.

The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. Nov. 4 while GameChanger World was hosting the Loud Fest event.

In a press release, Howell police said officers from the Howell Police Department responded to GameChanger World to assist a Freehold Township police officer who was working at the concert as a security officer.

The Freehold Township police officer was not working for the police department at the time the events unfolded. Howell police said initially, the officer was dealing with an intoxicated male who was attending the Loud Fest event.

While patrol units were en route to the venue, Howell Police Communications asked for additional Howell officers to respond because there were reports of a fight in progress. Security guards were reported to have been assaulted and several individuals were reported to have been injured, according to police.

When officers arrived at GameChanger World, they determined that several security guards and attendees had been injured as a result of an assault. Medical assistance was requested. Police said the individuals who committed the alleged assaults had apparently fled the scene.

Security guards told the responding officers that a bald white male wearing a black shirt had been “moshing” (dancing) in front of the stage and causing a disturbance during the concert. The security guards said the man was asked to leave the building.

According to police, the security guards said the man did not comply with the request to leave the building and was escorted outside by four security guards. At that time, one security guard was punched in the face and several other individuals joined in and began fighting with the security guards.

Police said the security guards were punched and kicked numerous times. One security guard was able to get away from the fracas and called 911.

Howell police said various security guards sustained one or more of the following injuries: loss of teeth, lip and eye injuries, loss of consciousness, contusions above the ear, rib pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, abrasions, contusions on the back of the head, facial contusions and blurry vision.

The injured individuals were transported to hospitals by the Howell Police EMS and the Howell First Aid and Rescue Squad.

In the aftermath of the incident, GameChangerWorld and Diamond Concerts posted a statement on the event’s Facebook page and said, “Due to an altercation between a private contracted security officer and a few concert-goers, Howell police cancelled the remainder of tonight’s scheduled show.

“GameChangerWorld security and staff were not involved in the altercation and supported the Howell police as needed. Media reports of multiple injuries and transports are fabricated. Howell police responded to a 911 call and with our staff, we were all able to exit the venue. Any reports of the contrary are not true.

“GameChangerWorld has never had any problems with any of our crowds over the four years we have been in Howell and tonight’s incident with our security contractor will be reviewed and addressed so future incidents are avoided. We appreciate the fans’ and artists’ support.

“GameChangerWorld management is cooperating with Howell police as they investigate the incident between the security officer and the entire situation. We also appreciate the fans for their cooperation and despite negative comments surrounding the incident, you all pulled together and evacuated the premises. This is not something that typically happens, so thank you all for your patience throughout the night,” the business operators said.

Howell Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez said, “We stand by our statement as its contents are the facts. The staff that was assaulted was hired security for the event. I am not sure if (GameChanger World is) splitting hairs by saying they are not their actual staff. However, they were hired to provide security at the event.”

Anyone with information about the incident at GameChanger World may forward it to the Howell Police Department’s Facebook Messenger; to the anonymous tip service at www.p3tips.com; or by contacting Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez at 732-938-4575, ext. 2243, or Patrolwoman Heather Scherbinski at 732-938-4575, ext. 2660.

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