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Melee Breaks Out at Hip Hop Award Show in Crystal City

by ARLnow.com March 6, 2011 at 2:50 am 8,229 89 Comments

Update on 3/7/11 — Another video of the brawl has been posted on DMVLife.com.

Update at 3:05 a.m. — A video posted on AllDMVHipHop.com (NSFW) shows a group of nearly a dozen people fighting inside the hotel.

A huge brawl broke out at a local hip hop award show in Crystal City Saturday night, sending several people to the hospital.

Multiple fights broke out at the 2011 DMV Music Awards at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, authorities said. Reports of more than 20 people fighting amid an audience of more than 1,500 prompted Arlington County police to take the rare step of sending every available unit to the scene.

“We’re going to need everyone,” an officer radioed to the dispatch center just after 9:30 p.m. “Apparently the whole place is out of control.”

Police arrived after most of the fighting had been broken up. Arlington officers were joined by units from Alexandria and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, a witness said. Some officers were armed with assault rifles, riot shields and other tactical gear, according to multiple witnesses.

The violence sent at least five people to local hospitals, according to Arlington Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. Among the injured were a hotel employee and an individual who suffered “severe trauma to left eye.”

As of 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, no arrests had been made, according to Nosal. At that time police were still conducting an “active investigation” inside the hotel, Nosal said.

Local resident Doug Wendt witnessed the aftermath of the melee from outside the hotel. He reported this from the scene:

Approximately 30+ police cruisers converged upon the scene within minutes, as well as multiple paramedic units. While uniformed officers – some wearing tactical gear – and plainclothes detectives searched the hotel for suspects and persons of interest, victims were being treated on the streets outside the hotel by emergency medical personnel. Medical staging areas were set up on South Clark Street in front of the Hyatt, as well as at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Police units clogged Crystal Drive and South Clark Street as patrons streamed out of the hotel after the event was ended as a result of the incident.

According to TBD, the general manager of the hotel said security for the event was provided by “police, a private company, and the hotel’s own security staff.”

No word yet on why the fighting started.

Photo courtesy Doug Wendt. Hat tips to Doug, Alan and John.

  • borf

    Here’s a huge surprise.

    • Truthi

      First the draft house now the Hyatt.

    • borf

      Fake borf, at least you’re saying things I would say.

  • Shirley

    That tourism tax brings great things to Arlington.

    • borf

      So does the Yellow Line.

      • borf

        Indeed. Pentagon City has the same kind of things brewing.

        • borf

          Dude, I don’t mind if you steal someone’s name sometimes – I do it too – but just using it over and over like it’s your own is lame. Can’t you think of something original?

          • CW


          • local

            Grow up. You’re acting like you’re 15 years old.

  • up too early

    Lyon Park’s Natalie Roy will complain to the County Board about the arbitrary safety enforcement: “for many years the hotel sat peaceful, but the county suddenly and arbitrarily decides one night to send all the police cars to the hotel. we should have had community meetings first and cleared it with me first”

  • Ron Burgundy

    Stay classy, Arlington.

  • Robert

    Take it back to D.C.

  • binky

    I dunno, looking at the video, I’ve seen worse argy-bargy at the Whole Foods in Clarendon when urban assault strollers-wielding parents get into it over the last box of quinoa.

  • The whole Viginia-side blaming everything bad on DC and DC-side blaming everything bad (or in brown flipflop) on VA gets a little tiresome at times. Can’t we all just get along?

    • AllenB

      But that would make for terribly boring comments on ArlNow.com.

  • CrystalMikey

    Damn, something actually went down in my ‘hood and I missed it?

  • LaceyForest

    A big brawl at the hip-hop music awards. Really?


    http://www.wtop.com/?sid=2296535&nid=139 1500 people? I did not realize there was such interest in local hip-hop? FREDTERP

    • S

      Remy won, right?

  • Around 11:40pm another fight was breaking out up the street from the regency/hyatt at the courtyard, again ACPD sent quite a few units. I know eachtime units were coming from everywhere, for both incidents units came pass my home on Lee highway in the rosslyn area to respond to the scene. So northside seemed to be assisting southside all night long! The second incident was over quicker but from what i heard on the police radio “Tac Unit 6” had as many as five subjects in custody. I wonder how connected the two incidents were and if those guys detained were actually charged or if they were kicked loose.

  • Wildhair

    Hippity Hoppin’ Easter’s on it’s way.

  • Wow.

    almost hilariously predictable.


    Why can’t North Arlington host the Hip Hop Awards? Or Old Towne Alexandria for that matter? A headline like this makes my property values plummet once again and adds to the reputation of South Arlington as a poor place to raise a family. Get with it and deny permits to these events that have a history of being highly linked to violence. We need to rally the troops (and I applaud Chris Zimmerman for remaining firm on the HOP lawsuit) and have a vision for this area that does NOT include STRIP CLUBS, HIP HOP EVENTS, and INCREASED DENSITY.
    Thanks M

    • Toucan Sam

      Strip clubs? We got strip clubs?

    • Rick

      HOP lawsuit? What could the county POSSIBLY have against the house of pancakes? We have the most diverse HOP mind you, the INTERNATIONAL house of pancakes…

      • MKJINVA

        Thanks for correcting my typo – yes, I meant HOT not HOP. Take care

    • SW

      MKJINVA is a moron. If you honestly think a brawl at some two-bit hip hop awards show is going to diminish property values in Crystal, then you need to get your head examined. None of them live here and it was all enclosed in a hotel. Not like a bunch of people threw down on the street.

      You’re just another example of why you couldn’t pay me to live in VA.

      • MKJINVA

        It’s the press this type of misconduct gets that has given S.Arlington a bad reputation. People do pay attention and rumors circulate – especially when you are looking for a place to buy a house. You are entitled to your opinion, but I have lived here 20 years and the S. Arlington bias is real – unfortunately.

        • Jezebel

          I’ve lived in S. Arlington for nearly 20 years, and regard the ‘bias’ against this better half of the County as a blessing that keeps my taxes a bit lower and my neighborhood bonds a bit tighter. The appeal of S. Arlington is really a wonderful secret. Let the haters hate. They don’t know what they’re missing.

          • MyHood


        • South Arlington

          That’s fine, with the rapidly rising crime in North Arlington, living down south county is looking better and better. Judging from the crime report every week, North Arlington is a great place to get your tires slashed, car broken into, harassed by the homeless, or to be peeped or molested by creeps.

        • Truthi

          This certainly doesn’t help but the poor state of S. Arlington’s schools and related test scores is a worse problem than the gangsta rappers

    • el burrito sabanero

      True Hip Hop is not about violence. Its an American artform that should be given more publicity… not only when there is a fight. And strip clubs are a controlled environment for adult entertainment, I see nothing wrong with that

      • local

        True hip hop isn’t about violence? Betcha that covers less than 5% of it.

    • S

      Heh, plummeting housing values, anywhere in Arlington. That’s funny.

  • Good time

    I fight at a Hip Hop concert? Are you sho?

  • PG in the Hizzow

    Fo shizzle my nizzle, I seen it, fo ril. We bounced to Merland befo the 50 could git us. It was off da hook.

    • el burrito sabanero

      Now, is there really a need to talk like that? It sounds so fake.


    • Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

    • OX4


  • it was nice though

  • Is there a better example of the kernel of truth at the core of every stereotype?

    • ThereISaidIt

      How do you think they become stereotypes in the first place?

    • doug

      Is there a better example of racism?

      • Arlingtonian

        Oh, just wait until a post is made about illegal immigrants in Arlington.

      • local

        Only if he meant a stereotype about blacks. Perhaps he meant a stereotype about hiphop artists and fans.

    • el burrito sabanero

      The thing is, many people including myself ever heard of this event. But now that there is something negative to say about it the media covers it and gives it publicity. That is racist

      • Lou

        I’m pretty sure the media would have to cover any event where virtually every on duty police officer was dispatched. Regardless of race.

      • local

        If a brawl broke out at any other event it would get in the papers too, don’t be silly.

  • Neathridge
  • Robert

    With regard to racism and stereoptypes:

    Many people distinguish between two basic kinds of argument: inductive and deductive. Induction is usually described as moving from the specific to the general, while deduction begins with the general and ends with the specific; arguments based on experience or observation are best expressed inductively, while arguments based on laws, rules, or other widely accepted principles are best expressed deductively.

  • Concerned Citizen

    The closet racism is in full effect in our area. So sad how easily some of these comments have rolled off of some of your finger tips.

    How much volunteer work have you all done in the last few years? Who here have gone into the schools to see what is going on?

    We all play a role! Once that is realized…

    • borf

      (fill in the blank)-on-white racism is the strongest it has ever been.

      • borf

        You’re not supposed to just steal someone’s screen name, dude, you’re only supposed to use it for parody. Loser.

        • CW

          It’s becoming an epidemic problem, I’m afraid.

    • Rick

      Is racism taught in the schools? Is that what you’re getting at?

  • MIchael H.

    I thought there was a security exercise going on yesterday. Police cars kept driving around in what I thought were circles. I also thought that maybe some of the police cars were getting lost. It was odd.

  • BigWilly

    another milestone in Arlington’s quest to receive “big city” status

  • Joe

    Its not racism, its just being realistic!

    • Just me

      The truth hurts.

  • SW

    You couldn’t pay me to live in Arlington.

    • Thes

      I note that you are not from Arlington. Perhaps you are not the only person who comments on ArlNow that is from outside Arlington. Perhaps some of the racist postings on ArlNow do not come from Arlingtonians. Also, it appears that some of the people who participated in the DMV Music Awards brawl were not Arlingtonians.

      For these reasons I am unwilling to conclude from what appears on this page either that Arlingtonians as a group are particularly violent, or that they are particularly racist.

    • We pay to keep people like you out. Thanks for the savings!

  • John Andre

    Here’s something for those who claim I support “old music” [swing dancing]over rap & hip-hop [which resemble discordant noise rather than music!]…

    Bet you won’t see anything like this at the upcoming Gottaswing Balboa weekend, Mar. 18-20. If there’s any kind of disturbance it may be because Metro has closed huge chunks of the system for “track maintenance”. I plan to be either at one of the Balboa events, at Colvin Run or at Bobby’s VIP Mardi Gras dance [no rap allowed].

  • John Andre

    One further note for those who characterize my attitude on rap music and hip-hop as “racist”…

    There are many types of African American music which do not sound like noise. One need only mention jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, spiritual and the beginnings of rock ‘n roll (originally sold as “race records” for African American buyers in the early 1950’s). In addition, there is “white” music (metal, punk rock) which can be even more discordant than rap, and “gothic” music with white supremacist or even neo-Nazi overtones.

    It’s true that Bobby’s VIP Dances do not include rap music, but he also bans country, a predominantly white medium, though Charley Pride and Darius Rucker have successfully recorded country music and performed at the Opry. It’s a shame we have no female black superstars on the country scene; perhaps Beyonce, Rihanna, Monica or Brandy out to consider a crossover or two.

  • BasedHerein

    As I post this, at least two commenters have attributed fellow commenters’ lack of shock about the melee to racism. Yet not a single comment has mentioned race as a reason for thinking violence was a not-so-unlikely outcome at this event. This suggests to me that those accusative commenters might be looking for racism in the posts, having not considered that violence is a characteristic of hip hop culture, regardless of the race of the participants. (I listen to and like the music, and the references to violence are well-documented and undeniable.) The point is, this was a hip-hop event! To accuse the other commenters of taking a racial angle tells me that the finger pointers made racist leaps on their own.

    • Well said.

      Now go slap a ho.

  • steve

    And in response, liberals will just try to ban any large event, they will treat them the same, presuming that a Star Trek convention of 1500 people is just likely to result in violence as a 1500 group of hip hop fans..

  • TuesdaysChild

    We need to rename the DMV initials. Maybe “Disco Means Violence.”

    • Just me


  • DudeGuy

    It is incidents like this that do not help eliminate racism.

    People HATE being stereotyped… but when it is true?

    • borf

      What’s “true” though? That every single hiphop fan is violent? No, clearly not. So it’s still unfair to rely on stereotypes. It always is.

      • DudeGuy

        I didn’t say anything about hiphop fans being violet

  • Does this happen at the Kennedy Center, with classical music fans? No. There have been “classical music riots” (see Wikipedia), but c’mon, with hip-hop, a lot of it is **about** the anger, aggression, expression, beats, and in-your-face attitude, right? Remember Rodney King’s words: “Can’t we just get along?” (Photo: LA Riots, 1992)

    • Shocked

      Yes, there is violence at the Kennedy Center. About 10 years ago, I was at a concert, main floor, concert hall when two men stood up to fight because one was making noise. No fists (or slaps) were thrown, but it was disruptive.

      Lesson learned: never give extra tickets to the help, they do not know how to behave.

  • Rastafari

    We need more Reggae shows! Peace and love 🙂

  • roquer

    “no word on why the fighting occurred”. Get a couple drunks together and they get aggravated with each other sooner or later. Get 1500 drunks together and they fight. Pretty simple I think.

  • borg

    Resistence is futile.

  • local

    Video of the brawl. Warning – this will not make you feel better about hiphop fans.


    • Matt

      I love that 3:20 into this video you hear a female (off screen) all excited that an entire table got up to get out of the fight, left their stuff behind and now she has “like $100,000 in jewelry in my purse”…. CLASSY!

  • barf

    There. Is that better?
    Not the pseudo-borf, but without other controls, anyone can do it. I agree it can be funny once or twice (within the proper context) but it has the potential to enrage lots of folks.

  • Pingback: Crystal City’s Hip Hop show ends in trip to the hospital for many; Alexandria loosening the charge for handicapped parking; Copper theft high in Fredericksburg; and Dulles Metro project brings delays to Orange line riders | Northern Virginia Magazin()

  • Southeast Jerome

    A shame what happened there. Still no arrests made? Thats a total joke.

  • Too Easy

    Arlington tourism at its best.

  • doug

    Let’s play, find the racism!

    1) Describing a cultures music as wild, aberrant, or somehow unmusical: maybe not racism, maybe just chauvinistic provincialism. A mentality common to racists and often used by racists in the past to oppress Native Americans, Africans, Eastern Europeans, Irish, and others- but not actual evidence of racism.

    2) Attributing source of violence to neighborhoods that are predominantly African-American: Maybe not racism, maybe just an “us vs them” mindset, and although, this mindset is common to racists, it is not evidence of racism.

    3) Utilizing mock/faux African-American dialect in your posts in an effort to denigrate people: digital equivalent of blackface and yup…there’s the racism.


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