By Joan Ward George
Some observers of the incident that took place in front of Beach Channel High School late Saturday afternoon might have thought that a police level one mobilization was uncalled for, but it averted what could have been a major riot as hundreds of youths were turned away from a talent show in the school’s auditorium.
According to Captain Gary Scirica, commanding officer of the 100 Precinct, the response to attending the talent show, sponsored independently by All Stars Talent Show network, was quite a bit greater than the accommodations at the Beach Channel High School auditorium could accommodate. Additionally, Scirica said, many of those trying to gain admittance to the show were unaware that they would have to pay $10 to attend and showed their displeasure with the situation by pushing and shoving, trying to get into the building.
Scirica told The Wave that police personnel who were assigned to the school called the precinct sergeant in charge to apprise him of the volatile situation, at which time he made the decision to call for a level one mobilization. According to Scirica, it was the right call, precautionary, in any situation when there are so many people (in this case mostly angry teenagers) involved.
Three teens were arrested, but the charges were minor. There were no injuries or shots fired as had been rumored during the days that followed the incident.
Beach Channel High School students and staff were on their mid winter vacation and had nothing to do with the incident. The auditorium was being used by All Stars Talent Show Network, an outside organization, who was functioning under its own auspices.
The All Stars Talent Show Network, ironically, is dedicated to fostering non-violence and has no past history of anything of this nature happening during one of their sponsored shows. The New York City based company promotes teen talent shows in all five boroughs of New York, Newark, New Jersey and Atlanta Georgia. According to Roger Brimwald, a company spokesperson, Saturday’s show at Beach Channel was a big success, with 250 young people performing. According to Brimwald, once the doors closed right before 4 p.m. the show went on and most people were completely unaware of what was happening outside of the school. Pam Lewis, another spokesperson for All Stars, told The Wave that representatives of her company met with school administrators and police personnel the week prior to the show as is their normal course of business when preparing for their talent shows.