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RAP MELEE IN BEANTOWN

Eve and DMX Concert
Leads to Backstage Brawl, Arrests
Nothing like a little rap concert to stir up some emotions.

The Ruff Ryders/Cash Money concert at Boston's Fleet Center Monday evening (4/3) was interrupted by a violent backstage melee that left five people stabbed and one struck with a six-foot-long marble bench, according to Boston police.

The scheduled show at Philadelphia's First Union Spectrum tonight (4/4) has been postponed.

Two stabbing victims are in stable condition at a local hospital. Other injured persons were treated and released. The cause of the confrontation is under investigation, a police spokesman said.

About three hours into the concert, around 9:45 p.m, a fight broke out in a backstage restricted area where performers and their guests were waiting, according to police and published reports. The 5,000 audience members were not aware of the riot as it was occurring. Reports the skirmish took place over pastrami sandwiches on the backstage deli tray went unconfirmed at presstime.

For the next hour, the show was delayed while a comedian entertained the audience. At 11 p.m., promoters cancelled the remainder of the show, which would have consisted of performances by Ruff Ryder label headliners Eve and DMX.

Police officers working venue security responded to the incident as it was in progress, sealing the venue and not allowing latecomers inside. The officers called for back up, then made two arrests, including one suspect caught having corned beef on white bread with mayo and milk.

Thirty-four-year-old David Smith of Randolph, MA, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon--namely, the bench that he allegedly threw at a victim, according to police. Twenty-two-year-old Benny Reyes, of New York City, was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Both men were arraigned Tuesday (4/4).

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