UMES Homecoming Concert Canceled Due to Unruly Crowd - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UMES Homecoming Concert Canceled Due to Unruly Crowd

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Phone video still capture of Thursday night's chaotic scene at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. (Photo credit: UMES student Dezare Stone) Phone video still capture of Thursday night's chaotic scene at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. (Photo credit: UMES student Dezare Stone)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Officials say a faulty ticket scanner is to blame for what turned into a scene of chaos Thursday night during a campus homecoming event at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne. 

UMES President Dr. Juliette B. Bell said in a letter the university's homecoming concert had to be canceled after the event was "fully compromised" by people seeking to enter the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. She said the doors for the concert opened at 7:30 p.m. and attendees filled the concert venue in an "orderly manner." 

However, Bell said that at around 10 p.m., unbeknownst to the 1,300-1,500 students and patrons already inside the arena, the crowd outside "breached with the doorway, pushed past security and ticket takers and knocked over metal detectors, creating an unsafe and hazardous environment." 

That is when campus police were forced to use pepper spray to get the crowd under control, according to Bell. She said this caused the crowd to leave the building.

UMES Police Chief Mark Tyler said it took about 45 minutes to get the agitated crowd under control.

Once the crowd was subdued, EMS crews began to treat students who had been injured and pepper sprayed. Due to the incident, the concert was canceled. Refunds are being issued to all ticket holders.

Bell said a review of the incident and the university's practices is underway.

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