Katy Perry Wellington moshpit brawl

MICHELLE DUFF
Last updated 05:00 12/05/2011
PUSHED AND PUNCHED: Alex White, 24,  says security staff should have intervened.
CHRIS SKELTON/ The Dominion Post
PUSHED AND PUNCHED: Alex White, 24, says security staff should have intervened. "I thought I was going to end up at A&E in a coma, and not wake up.''
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I HEART YOU: Katy Perry performs at Vector Arena in Auckland.
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One of several people injured in a melee at the Katy Perry concert in Wellington says she is too afraid to attend a gig again.

One person was taken to hospital after Tuesday night's gig and St John Ambulance had to treat several others for cuts and minor injuries after a scuffle in the mosh pit - an area near the front of a concert for dancing.

A St John spokeswoman said some of the attackers were wearing stiletto heels, and appeared to have been using them as weapons.

The gig was attended by hundreds of school-age children.

Alex White, 24, of Porirua, left the event bloodied and battered after a group of women began to assault her and sister Tori, 17, moments into Perry's second song.

At home nursing a black eye, scratches and bruises yesterday, the sales representative and mother-of-one said that, when Perry began to sing, she and Tori were three rows from the front. The crowd was surging forward – "normal for a concert".

A woman next to her told her to stop pushing, and Ms White replied that she could not help it.

Then she felt a blow to her head, and said a group of about seven women began to punch her. Tori was also being assaulted, while others in the crowd were screaming and trying to push the attackers away.

While Tori was dragged out by security staff, a terrified Ms White was yanked by her hair down to the floor. "Fists were flying, and you've just got so many fists to the head ... I got all dizzy, and blacked out for a few seconds.

"I thought I was going to end up at A&E in a coma, and not wake up."

She managed to get up and wave her arms in the air, screaming, "Get me out, get me out" to security. After they pulled her out, she was attended by St John staff, but was so shaken that she did not stay for the rest of the concert.

"Who wants to stay after that?

"I've got a five-year-old daughter to go back home to. Today she was like, `Mum, what's wrong with you?"'

She did not complain to police at the time because she did not want to waste their time.

"It was so dark in there ... they would never have been able to find anyone."

She would lay a complaint today, however. It was "appalling and disgusting" that such behaviour could be allowed to happen at a concert attended by so many young people, and security should have stopped it, she said.

A St John spokeswoman said staff were aware of a group of about 12 intoxicated people who caused a "scuffle" in the mosh pit that left some people with cuts and injuries needing treatment.

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Wellington Venues sales and marketing manager Gillian Officer said a full security team of about 55 was on duty, with six more than usual at the front of the stage after a last-minute request from Perry's security team.

They were aware of one incident involving a young woman, who had spoken to a venue manager, but security had not reported any other incidents, and the crowd of 6000 had been mainly well behaved.

The company was strict on alcohol sales, and had been checking bags.

There were no arrests.

- The Dominion Post

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