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Near Riot Leads To Record Exec Twitter Arrest


11/24/2009
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It isn't April 1st, but we still have a hard time believing this is real and not from the imagination of a modern day Orwell or Huxley. But it appears to be true and that truth is that a record executive was arrested for refusing to send out a twitter alert. While you'll see that he probably should have sent out the alert, a felony and several misdemeanor charges for failing to do so? We thought that only happens on Seinfeld.

It all started when a mall appearance by the current flavor of the month disposable teen pop singer turned ugly in Garden City, New York. Thousands of fans turned up for the in-store appearance a couple of hours before 15-year-old Justin Bieber was scheduled to appear. The crowd of young girls started pushing and shoving each other, with the near riot sending five people to the hospital (thankfully for only minor injuries).

It reportedly took the police two hours to restore order with the crowd, estimated at nearly 3,000, refused to leave the area because according to the New York Post, they "were reassured via Twitter that Bieber was going to show." The police then called on James Roppo, the senior vice president of sales at Island Def Jam Records, to help by sending out a Twitter update asking fans to leave. Roppo reportedly refused, for some unknown reason, and was arrested. He now faces a felony assault charge and misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstructing governmental administration, reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance, according to Newsday.

Could a Twitter message have saved the day? The young pop star himself Posted messages, but perhaps too late to make a difference. One message told fans "they are not allowing me to come into the mall. if you dont leave I and my fans will be arrested as the police just told us". If that wasn't clear enough he added, "the event at roosevelt mall is cancelled. please go home. the police have already arrested one person from my camp. I dont want anyone hurt."

Newsday has a detailed write up on this story if you wish to learn more including comments from the district attorney office and Roppo's attorney. You can read that here.



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