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Queens Chronicle

Forest Hills hip-hop show draws thousands

No incidents reported, but residents say cops flubbed concert exodus

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Thu Aug 28, 2014.

Hip-hop superstars Drake and Lil Wayne knew the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium concert series wasn’t created without with a twinge of worry from area residents over excessive noise and large crowds.

So before the duo’s last song of the night, they urged the crowd to cheer as loud as they could.

But Bryan Deutsche, one of a handful of Burns Street residents who kept a watchful eye on the crowds on Tuesday night, said it wasn’t the noise that was a concern.

“It’s horrible. Horrible,” Deutsche said of the dozens of people streaming down Burns Street past the venue after the show, something he said police informed him would not happen. “The ball got dropped here.”

When exiting the stadium, attendees are instructed to walk right on Burns Street towards Continental Avenue.

But a steady flow of people took a left out of the venue and made their way into the residential Forest Hills Gardens neighborhood, where only a limited number of police were stationed near where the rappers’ vehicles were.

“It didn’t happen the way we were told it would,” he said. “[The officers’] priorities seem to be where the limousines are.”

Det. Gigi Redzematovic of the 112th Precinct said after the concert that the officers were allowing people who either lived in the area or had parked their cars in the vicinity to make their way into the neighborhood.

Capt. Judith Harrison, the precinct’s commanding officer, said roughly 75 officers were deployed in the area around the stadium, with teams patrolling inside the stadium to keep order.

“No one wants this show to go well more than me,” Harrison said before the concert.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) attended the show and said Wednesday morning that she had not heard of any incidents and that “everything sounds like it went fine.”

Over 14,000 people packed the stadium to hear rap legend Lil Wayne and rising superstar Drake perform over 50 of their most famous songs such as “Started from the Bottom,” “The Sky is the Limit,” “Trophies” and “Duffle Bag Boy.”

After the barrage of hits and classics, fans were able to file out of the stadium and onto Continental Avenue in under 20 minutes, where mounted police and MTA officials were waiting to direct them towards the 71st Street-Continental Avenue subway platforms and the Forest Hills LIRR train station.

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