LOS ANGELES, DEC. 30 -- Punk rock fans ordered to leave an overcrowded concert hall went on a rampage, ripping out seats, hurling bottles at police and smashing the windows of nearby stores and offices, authorities said today.
A police officer was cut on the head by a bottle, and several concertgoers were injured in the Saturday night melee at the Classic Theater in North Hollywood, officials said. Firefighters briefly turned hoses on the crowd to restore order.
Three people were arrested, one for vandalism, one for an alcohol-related offense and another on a felony warrant.
Assistant Fire Chief Jim Mullen said nearly 1,900 people had jammed into the theater, several hundred more than its capacity, and fire officials ordered it closed at about 8:30 p.m.
"I've been doing this for 10 years and as soon as I saw the police and their truncheons, I knew the show was over," said Peter Firestone, drummer for the show's headline act, Bad Religion.
Most fans left quietly when ordered to, but a brawl erupted and about 200 seats were damaged in an ensuing rampage, Mullen said.
Outside, fans smashed windows in shops, offices and a bank building. Property damage was estimated by police at about $20,000.