Posted On:11/14/2010 11:52pm
Martial-arts event yields one arrest
By John Collins, email@example.com
Updated: 11/11/2010 11:55:13 AM EST
TYNGSBORO -- At least two fight fans among more than 1,000 who attended a mixed martial-arts "Tournament of Champions" event at the Tyngsboro Sports Center last Saturday night got a bit too caught up in the action, police and the center's owner said.
"There was one (spectator) who people there said was being a real loudmouth all night, and finally he got in the wrong person's face, apparently, and got sucker-punched," said Darryl Wickens, the Sports Center's owner.
The punch caused a minor injury to one combatant, and caused two groups of fans who were supporting rival fighters to jostle each other on the edges of the skirmish, Tyngsboro Deputy Police Chief Rich Burrows reported.
"Groups of fans were escorted out of the building (by police), and at one point somebody left the parking lot at a high rate of speed while there were still a lot of folks in the area," Burrows said. "So we stopped that driver and charged him with driving to endanger."
The driver who was arrested is an Auburn resident, Burrows said.
Two Tyngsboro officers on a paid detail at the MMA event quieted the melee quickly, reported Wickens.
"The police officers couldn't possibly have quelled the disturbance any faster than they did," said Wickens.
Wickens also employs private security personnel to work at MMA events, but they didn't need to get involved, he said,
"Like at any sporting event, or concert, where you have more than 1,000 folks coming together,there always seems to be someone like that with a big mouth causing a problem," Wickens added.
The 45,000-square-foot facility at 18 Progress Drive first opened in September 2005 to serve the indoor sporting needs of the area, including soccer, baseball, basketball, flag football and golf lessons. The Sports Center has hosted three "highly successful" paid-admission MMA events since receiving Town Meeting approval for a date-specific liquor license in September, Wickens said.
Consumption of alcohol was not what triggered Saturday night's sucker-punch outside of the pro-fighters' octagon, according to Burrows.
"It was a case of opposing groups of fans passionately rooting for their fighters," he said.
The first two MMA events hosted by the Sports Center were incident-free, Burrows said.
Wickens said the next mixed martial arts fight card at the Sports Center has been tentatively scheduled for January. A general admission ticket is $32.
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Posted On:11/15/2010 7:30am
Ah, the spirit of Massachusetts in the news for all to see.
This article is a whole lot easier to find than the actual results of the matches, but I guess this is pretty cool too.
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