Melee Breaks Out After High School Basketball Game

Monday, March 19th 2007, 9:18 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Fights between fans during a championship high school basketball game at Madison Square Garden turned into a melee that spilled into the streets and subways, drawing police on horseback and in riot gear.

Gunfire was heard as the crowd went from the arena Sunday night to Times Square, but no injuries were reported, police said.

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 boy was arrested at a subway station on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon; police said he didn't fired the shots.

A WCBS-TV camera crew inside the arena caught images of fights breaking out in the stands, including a girl slapping a boy, who then swung around and hit her. Other boys jumped him, and police broke up the fight.

The WCBS-TV footage 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.

After the crowd left the Garden, dozens of officers were called in, some on horseback and others in riot gear. Several fights broke out in nearby subway stations.

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 3rd quarter, distracting and displacing many in the crowd of thousands, the New York Times said Monday. Lincoln won 77-50.