Bieber fever ends in mall mayhem

November 21, 2009 1:55:29 AM PST
A planned appearance by a teenage singing sensation at the Roosevelt Field Mall turned into chaos on Friday. According to a spokeswoman for Roosevelt Field Mall, a store called Justice was having a signing with tween idol Justin Bieber on Friday afternoon.

An estimated three thousand pre-teen girls and their parents had camped out at the mall since 7:00 a.m. for the appearance by the 15-year-old Bieber. The teen singing sensation was going to do a CD signing and performance.

At some point, investigators said the crowd surged toward the location, and aggressive pushing and shoving caused a need for police.

"We saw people getting pushed, moms and dads," one girl said. "We saw 10-year-old girls standing outside by themselves (after getting separated from their parents)."

"One mom broke her arm," said another girl.

NCPD Police units and several Garden City Police units were called to the scene. They cancelled the event and dispersed the crowd.

Jayme Reissman and Driana Eunne told Eyewitness News that the crowd wasn't listening to the police, and fights then broke out. They said at least one girl was tasered and removed by police.

Four to five injuries were reported.

Bieber himself posted on his Twitter that one person among his crew was arrested.

In fact, police made one arrest - James A. Roppo, 44, of Hoboken. He is a senior vice president with Island Def Jam Records.

Nassau Police say Roppo was arrested because he was not helping them disperse the crowd. Police said they asked him numerous times to go online to tell people that the event had been cancelled and to leave. A lot of people in the crowd were using Twitter, so police wanted him to go on there and make the announcement. He refused, so he was arrested, officials said. Eventually Island Def Jam let people know the event was off through Bieber's Twitter page.

Charges against Roppo were pending.