Tuesday, May 31, 2005
'Loyal fan' claims he was beaten onstage at Snoop Dogg concert
By ATHIMA CHANSANCHAI AND ROBERT L. JAMIESON Jr.
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTERS
A Seattle-area hip-hop fan claims he was pummeled onstage this weekend at a concert with Snoop Dogg, The Game, Oowee and other artists.
Richard Monroe, 24, said he jumped onstage to dance at the encouragement of the rap artists when about a dozen people, including Snoop Dogg, hit and kicked him repeatedly. He alleges they ripped out his diamond earrings, poured alcohol on him, stole his watch and cell phone and took his wallet containing cash and identification.
Fans who watched the chaotic scene on stage Saturday had varying accounts. Some said they saw a man rush toward the artists from the backstage area before the fight broke out.
"The Game was throwing everything he had into it, and you could see Oowee moving back and forward and kicking the guy. I was kind of shocked," said 17-year-old Thatcher Marshall, who sat in the front section.
Marshall said the violence erupted during Snoop Dogg's song "Gin and Juice."
Administrators of White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, where the concert took place, acknowledged late yesterday that a fan had approached the artist on stage "unexpectedly" and had to be removed.
"The safety and security of our artists and our patrons is very important to us," the amphitheater's executive director, Lance Miller, said in the statement.
"We fully support the local authorities in their investigation of this incident."
Monroe spoke to a deputy from the King County Sheriff's Office Sunday evening, and the deputy took his statement.
The Kent man's eyes were swollen almost shut during an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sunday evening. He was taken by ambulance to Auburn Regional Medical Center, suffering bruised ribs, a broken nose and a busted lip, according to his family. He said if he weren't so big -- he stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 250 pounds -- his injuries might have been worse.
Monroe, an aspiring model who calls himself "a loyal fan" of Snoop Dogg's, said that within seconds of getting onstage, the rap stars' bodyguards pounced on him and dragged him to the back of the stage.
"White River security guards didn't do anything. They didn't help," he said. "What are they there for?"
The scuffle was a chat topic on Snoop Dogg's Web site over the weekend. "We were right up front and watched that fool get the (expletive) kicked outta him ... there was blood and (expletive) everywhere, man," wrote one.
The concert was the season opener for the White River Amphitheatre, on the Muckleshoot reservation. Many fans, who paid from $25 to $46 for tickets, were disappointed when the show abruptly ended after the incident.
"I kept hoping it would just end, and they would finish up the concert," said Marshall.
Representatives of Snoop Dogg could not be reached yesterday, but one talent manager said last night that anyone who jumps onstage should know they will be removed.
Anthony Johnson, Monroe's cousin, and Monroe's girlfriend, Sonya Waters, attended the concert with him. Neither jumped onstage. "All they had to do is say you ain't supposed to be on the stage," said Johnson. "He was there for a minute with Snoop kickin' it."
Monroe's friends and family allege that Snoop Dogg also hit him in the head with a microphone during the melee.
Snoop Dogg, a fixture on MTV shows who has branched out into movies such as "Soul Plane," was at the venue on the tail end of his How The West Was One Tour, in which he headlines with California rapper The Game.
Snoop Dogg is on tour promoting his latest record, R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece.
Some fans yesterday questioned whether the onstage brawl might have been part of the rap stars' act.
Monroe said it was no act.
"They beat me like a slave," he said, holding an ice bag to his face. "It's horrible. They just went too far."