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Police share details on violence outside Red Bull Arena

Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ
Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ | Courtesy NYCFC.com

Hudson River Blue has new details about the violence that occurred outside Red Bull Arena following the Leagues Cup match between New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls on August 3 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

A spokesperson for the Harrison Police Department confirms that there have been no arrests made in the wake of this post-Hudson River Derby violence, attributing that to the fact that no victims came forward and made formal statements to police. 

The Harrison police source we spoke to confirmed that there was one person treated for an injury at the scene, an individual who was said to have been hit in the head with a bottle outside Gate C. Police say this victim sustained a laceration above an eye and was treated on-site, but refused any further medical attention away from the arena. 

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Our police source said that there was no knife involved in the violence, nor did police respond to or transmit any official communication about a knife at the scene. An account of an officer stating that a person had a knife appeared on social media, and was reported in an earlier story on Hudson River Blue, but it now appears that there was no knife.

Harrison police would not share the specific number of officers assigned to work this particularly troubled installment of the Hudson River Derby, but did shed some light on how they determine the number of officers assigned to games at Red Bull Arena. 

According to Harrison PD, they use a “tier” system based on an expected attendance report they receive directly from the Red Bulls organization to determine the number of officers on duty at Red Bull Arena. 

The Red Bulls have thus far declined to comment on any aspects of the incident, though I’ve now asked specifically if they can confirm this attendance-projection process.

The police would not share the expected attendance number the Red Bulls gave them for this particular match. Announced attendance was 11,004, well under 50% of Red Bull Arena’s 25,000-seat capacity, as this particular Hudson River Derby was arranged on only four-days’ notice and occurred at 8 PM on a Thursday night–not a recipe for a big attendance number at a frequently attendance-challenged venue

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Significantly, Harrison police did confirm they are planning to take a different approach to handling the Hudson River Derby going forward. The police source we spoke to said that regardless of expected attendance, the department plans to increase its presence for any and all future matches in Harrison between NYCFC and the Red Bulls. 

The Harrison police source said he was also aware of first-hand witness accounts that claim a specific Red Bulls supporters group, Torcida 96, carried out an ambush-style attack on a group of NYCFC fans, but stressed that any further investigation on the police’s part relied on police receiving detailed witness statements, which they have not yet received.

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