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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
5/9/2004 10:01:47 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include 50 Cent.

Wearing a Gucci holster and a pellet pistol that shoots rubber bullets, gangsta rap artist 50 Cent jumped off the stage and started a fight with the crowd during a surprise appearance at the Hippodrome yesterday, the club's co-owner said.

Two people were arrested for disturbing the peace, and police are investigating whether a shooting in which a man was wounded in the leg about a block away from the club is related, said Springfield Police Capt. Charles Arpin.

Michael J. Barrasso, co-owner of the Hippodrome, said Hartford hip-hop radio station WZMX 93.7 FM told him that the multiplatinum-selling rap artist might make a surprise appearance at an invitation-only hip-hop concert they were sponsoring at the club. The show started Friday night and ended early yesterday morning.

The crowd of 1,400 people, however, did not know 50 Cent was there until he took the stage after the other acts, Barrasso said.

"The crowd was pretty excited he was there," said Barrasso, who was on the club's floor during the show.

The rap star, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, last year bought a 52-room, 50,000-square-foot mansion in Farmington, Conn., from former boxing champion Mike Tyson's ex-wife, Monica Turner Tyson, for $4.1 million. She acquired it for $1 as part of their divorce settlement.

Gangsta rap typically includes themes of gang activity and violence.

50 Cent had been performing for about 10 minutes when a person or persons in the crowd threw water at 50 Cent from a cup or water bottle, Barrasso said.

"(50 Cent) reacted," Barrasso said. "What he did then is he had a gold chain on. He removed his gold chain, handed it to someone on the stage next to him and jumped off the stage into the crowd."

The rapper's entourage of 15-20 people, including bodyguards, jumped off the stage next. "I don't know who they (50 Cent and his entourage) were after," Barrasso said. "There was a lot of pushing and shoving."

Barrasso said because the standing crowd was dense he could not tell if there was any fighting beyond pushing.

He said he wasn't worried about weapons because security guards had frisked the rapper and his entourage behind the stage. Extra-duty police officers also inspected the gun in 50 Cent's Gucci holster and determined it could only hold rubber bullets, Barrasso said.

Police working in the club called for all available units to show up.

Security guards, who were stationed at the front of the stage with two extra-duty police officers, closed in around the rapper and entourage and pushed them back up onstage, Barrasso said.

"He finished the song, believe it or not," Barrasso said. "Then the whole entourage and him just rushed for the exit, got in their cars and left. They had a few SUVs they were traveling in."

Police could not confirm how the disturbance started.

Arpin said the disturbance began at about 12:30 a.m. when the crowd exiting the theater spilled onto Main Street.

Barrasso said he was not aware of any fighting outside the club. He said police responded quickly, finished clearing out the club of people who hadn't already left, and cleared the parking lots and Main Street.

It took police close to an hour to disperse the crowd and restore order, Arpin said.

Police arrested two people during the disturbance.

Trevin Smith, 23, of 20 Maynard St., Springfield, and Charlton McLaughlin, 27, of Hartford were each charged with disturbing the peace.

Police are also investigating a minor shooting that may have taken place during the disturbance, Arpin said.

A man walked into the Mercy Medical Center emergency room with a gunshot wound to the leg at just befor

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