Police arrested an Island Def Jam record exec in connection to a recent appearance by Canadian pop singer
His crime? He refused to tweet about the event.
Bieber’s fans turned up in droves for the 15-year-old star’s Nov. 20 appearance at the mall’s Justice clothing store. According to reports, the crowd of young fans and their parents, many who camped out before dawn for Bieber’s afternoon album-signing appearance, numbered nearly 3,000.
But two hours before Bieber was scheduled to show, the crowd turned rowdy as fans began pushing and shoving one another. Five people were reportedly taken to the hospital with minor injuries and a police officer trying to control the crowd also suffered a minor injury.
Although police tried shutting down the event and moving the mob of girls out of the mall, the scene became a “near riot,” according to the New York Post.
Police took two hours to clear the area, seeking the help of Island Def Jam’s VP of sales, James Roppo, in the meantime.
“We asked for his help in getting the crowd to go away by sending out a Twitter message,” said Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Kevin Smith. “By not cooperating with us, we feel he put lives in danger and the public at risk.”
Roppo faces charges including endangering the welfare of children, obstructing governmental administration, reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance, the Post said.
“We feel Mr. Roppo is … being singled out. He had nothing to do with the injuries that occurred. Mr. Roppo has absolutely zero liability,” Roppo’s attorney Scott Leemon said in a statement.
“The Roosevelt Field Mall and the Nassau County Police Department were unprepared and had a complete lack of control at yesterday’s event and it is incomprehensible that they will not take responsibility.”
Roppo is scheduled to return to court Dec. 9.
Although Roppo refused to take to his Twitter account, Bieber did manage to take matters into his own hands, sending out a number of tweets alerting fans the mall appearance had been canceled.
“They are not allowing me to come into the mall. If you don’t leave I and my fans will be arrested as the police just told us,” Bieber wrote. He added, “The event at Roosevelt Mall is canceled. Please go home. The police have already arrested one person from my camp. I don’t want anyone hurt.”