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Update: Police Issue Warning to Hockey Fans, Arrest Another in Concert Assaults

Newark beefing up security at the Rock in anticipation of 'spirited' crowds

[Editor's note: This story was originally published Thursday 4 p.m. It has since been updated with new information.]

There’s no love lost between fans of the region’s professional hockey teams, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. And if anything, that rivalry is getting even hotter as the teams - each with a win apiece in the seven-game NHL playoff series  - prepare for their next matchup Saturday on the Devils home ice, the Prudential Center in Newark.

But overzealous fans be warned: the city’s police will be out in force.

"The Newark Police Department has made additional provisions for the upcoming hockey playoff game between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils in anticipation of .... perhaps more spirited fans," the department said in a statement today.

A department spokesman declined to specify all the measures being taken, but did say there would be "additional policing" at the downtown venue.

Security at "the Rock" has become a particular focus of concern since May 5, when, following a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, several people were assaulted and robbed at Broad and Market streets a few blocks south of the arena. Another man was attacked a few blocks east on Ferry Street.

Arrests have since been made in connection with all the incidents, with a fourth teen arrested Thursday around 5:30 p.m. The unidentified 17-year-old Newark resident, who was arrested by police while playing basketball at St. Peter's Recreation Center on Lyons Avenue, was charged with rioting, aggravated assault, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was ramanded to the Essex County Juvenile Dention Center.

Samuel DeMaio, the director of the Newark Police Department, said the crime spree earlier this month was a rare occurrence at the Rock, which opened in 2007 and was ranked the 10th most popular arena in the world last year. 

"The Newark Police Department has routinely provided adequate security at all of our sporting and cultural events here in Newark," DeMaio said in a statement. "Despite hosting several hundred such events over the past decade, there have only been two documented incidents. While our overall success may not bring solace to the unfortunate victims of those two isolated incidents, however, it does speak to our commitment to ensure that our residents and visitors are able to safely enjoy all of our recreational and cultural resources."

John Bellantoni May 18, 2012 at 02:50 AM
If the Rock is to succeed and if the City of Newark is to survive than a good start is heighten security. The Devils/Rangers contest is good for the city's economy but without proper security the Rock could become an expensive empty building. If people feel safe they will come. If they do not the city will continue its downward spiral.
Dave Phillips May 18, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Happy to see another arrest was made. Hope the Devils beat New York.
Ron Wedlock May 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM
There ha have not been that many incidents, compared to what we don't here about surrounding the garden

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