Observatory brawl leaves some North Park residents concerned

SAN DIEGO – One day after East Coast rapper XXXTentacion was knocked unconscious onstage and a concertgoer was stabbed during a brawl at the Observatory North Park, concerned residents say it’s an example of how things can get out of hand at the venue.

XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, was performing at the University Avenue theater when a man rushed up to him and punched him about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, knocking him unconscious, according to San Diego police.

The Florida rapper was whisked offstage as security guards struggled to subdue about 10 other combative people.

The rapper later uploaded a video in which he blamed the venue and security personnel for conspiring with the attacker to allow the attack to happen.

But a manager at the venue, Paris Landen, denies those claims.

“Absolutely false,” Landen told FOX 5.

She says security personnel tried to calm things down and later worked with police to get the situation under control.

At some point during the melee, a 19-year-old audience member suffered a stab wound to the back. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of a punctured lung, SDPD Officer Billy Hernandez said.

Some people in the area told FOX 5 this type of behavior is not sitting well with residents in the neighborhood.

“I know a lot of the residents are very uncomfortable with it. And there are some moments where there are safety issues that come up. Some of the concerts have more of a rowdy crowd and things are not easy to live with some nights,” said North Park resident Emily Fierer.

Others in the area have also complained, including some businesses, but Landen said the venue is not a magnet for trouble.

“I think we’re the best neighbors. We listen to the community, we work with them, we bring business to the other businesses around us, so I would disagree,” Landen said.

Landen said everyone who attended the concert Wednesday night is entitled to a refund.

Police say no arrests have been made in connection with the brawl, due in part to people involved not cooperating.

Observatory North Park General Manager Paris Landen released the following statement:

On Wednesday, June 8, 2017, there was an incident that occurred on stage during the XXXTentacion concert which resulted in an unforeseen altercation wherein a group of unidentified assailants breached security/barricades, which led to an assault on the artist during his performance.   

As a result, one of the assailant from the group sustained physical injuries but is currently in stable condition.  Our security staff and onsite local off duty police officers immediately took action to prevent the situation from escalating, in addition to securing the safety of our guests and staff.   

As a matter of precaution, there were additional security staffed for the show in conjunction with support from our local police department.

As far as what led to the actual incident, we are working around the clock with our management team alongside the San Diego Police department to conduct a full investigation on the matter.

To our patrons that attended the show, we will immediately issue refunds for the event; which will also be available at The Observatory Box Office.   

We want to thank the San Diego Police Department, off duty officers, and our security team for their diligent work in diffusing the situation.  Their quick action allowed us to capably and efficiently handle the incident.