Police respond to questions about the Phish Gorge shows

Police respond to questions about the Phish Gorge shows

 

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Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed first-hand either of the assaults to contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at 509-762-1160, or send information to crimetips@grantcountywa.gov

In response to many questions, Kyle Forman of the Grant County Sheriff’s department made this statement at noon on July 31 regarding the July Phish shows in Washington state.

We have chosen to simply print the statement from the police to satisfy questions and curiosity from fans about these incidents.

Responding to questions about nitrous mafia, Live Nation security, and neo Nazis in the parking lot and even question about collusion between Live Nation security and neo Nazis in attendance.

From Kyle Forman:

“1. There were several groups of persons selling nitrous at the campground and on the path between the campground and the venue.
2. One of the groups included several white men and the persons with the swastika tattoos whose pictures have been shared by concert goers on social media. These men was contacted by security on Sunday and two members of that group were trespassed/ejected by security. These men were not arrested. Their nitrous cylinders were taken by security.
3. Another group included several black men who were caught on Sunday selling nitrous filled balloons along the path from the campground to the venue. These men were also trespassed/ejected by security. These men were not arrested. Their nitrous cylinders were taken by security.
4. One other grouped which included several black males was observed selling nitrous but security and law enforcement was not able to catch them in the act.
5. Thus far we have no information that there was a scuffle on Friday between security and any groups or persons selling nitrous balloons. If a physical altercation happens involving security, they are typically very quick at calling us for assistance.
6. We’ve found no evidence that neo-Nazis were called in by security as enforcers. The alleged neo-Nazis contacted all had IDs from east coast cities. There was no established link between security and the alleged neo-Nazis, aside from security trespassing/ejecting them on Sunday.
7. The alleged neo-Nazis were at the concert and were caught selling nitrous filled balloons. This sales of balloons seems to be why they were there.
8. We currently have no witnesses who can describe either of the assailants involved in the two assaults.

Regarding the “nitrous mafia”, our experience is that nitrous sales are present at Phish concerts. Sheriff’s deputies at the Gorge tried their hardest to support security in catching and evicting nitrous sellers, but I am told there was a great deal of nitrous sales activity along Shakedown all weekend. Nitrous sellers in some cases were very organized in operating their businesses. Many employ counter-surveillance teams to alert the persons selling the balloons. When the counter-surveillance team sees security or law enforcement approaching one of their sellers, they alert the seller who typically just abandons the nitrous cylinder and walks away into the crowd before security or law enforcement can reach them.

I have been told that over 80 cylinders were collected by security this year, most of which were abandoned by tipped-off sellers. I was also told that last year over 160 nitrous cylinders were taken by security.

One thing which deputies did experience was the gratitude of concert-goers. I am told scores of concert-goers took the time to say thank you to deputies for their presence and deterrence of misbehavior.

Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed first-hand either of the assaults to contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at 509-762-1160, or send information to crimetips@grantcountywa.gov”

Read Chris Lynch’s review of the July 20 Gorge show here.

Fund raiser for Samir Poles, victim of the rock attack at the Gorge:

https://www.gofundme.com/sos-support-our-samir

Fundraiser for Joe Louis Allen Jr.

https://www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-joe-allen-jr

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

To submit an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com