Reporting Mike Hellgren
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—Thousands of people stormed the streets of downtown Towson leading to fights and arrests over the weekend. Now the county executive says one business is to blame.
Mike Hellgren has all sides of this developing story.
Amateur video shows some of the chaos that erupted in downtown Towson late Saturday night into Sunday morning. In the end, police say eight people were cited or arrested, three officers were hurt and one man was shot in the Towson Town Center garage.
Now the county executive is lashing out at the Recher Theatre. He says the violence started when people were turned away from a fraternity charity event that put the venue at capacity. He called for a review of the theater’s liquor license.
“I really lay blame on one particular operator here who delegated responsibility to some third-party promoter and I’ve got a real problem for someone who does that because you’re responsible for what happens in your venue,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
The Recher’s owner declined to respond to the county executive but did tell WJZ everything was handled appropriately.
“The guys running it are awesome guys, very professional,” said Brian Recher. “They were expecting 500 kids and a whole bunch more came.”
The head of Towson’s Chamber of Commerce came to Recher’s defense.
“They’ve invested millions of dollars into their establishment here and they’re not going to want to do anything to harm the community,” said Nancy Hafford.
The police chief says he’s now speaking to businesses about safety concerns but believes this was isolated.
“We’re very confident that as a Chamber of Commerce, as a community, as public safety that this incident or incidents like this will not repeat itself,” said Chief James Johnson.
Police say they’re looking at Towson Town Center’s closed circuit television network for clues about the shooter, who still hasn’t been arrested.