Crime

Man stabbed inside Carrier Dome during Orange Madness on Friday night

Chase Gaewski | Photo Editor

Police cars are parked outside the Carrier Dome on Friday night after a man was stabbed inside the venue during Orange Madness. The victim, a 25-year-old male, is in serious but stable condition.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, Shoquinn Benton’s name was misstated. The Daily Orange regrets this error.

UPDATED: Oct. 15, 2012, 7:12 p.m.

A man was stabbed on the concourse of the Carrier Dome on Friday night at Syracuse University’s Orange Madness event.

The stabbing occurred at 9:30 p.m. The victim was stabbed in the upper shoulder area, according to a notice sent to students by the Department of Public Safety early Saturday morning.

The victim, a 25-year-old male, was transported to Upstate University Hospital, said Sgt. Tom Connellan of the Syracuse Police Department. The victim is not an SU student and no SU students were involved, Connellan said.

Connellan later identified the victim as Shoquinn Benton. As of Sunday morning, Connellan said he didn’t know Benton’s current condition but that Benton’s injury was non-life threatening. A nursing supervisor at University Hospital said the hospital had no one currently admitted by that name.

SPD received multiple reports of fights breaking out in the concourse areas near the concession stands prior to receiving a report of the stabbing, Connellan said. No students are believed to have been involved in any of the fights, he said.

SPD currently has no suspects and no one in custody. Because the stabbing is a criminal investigation, Connellan said, SPD will handle all aspects of the case.

It is not yet known whether the stabbing or any of the fights were gang-related, Connellan said.

“We don’t know at this point because the victim is not cooperating,” he said.

Due to “continuing disturbances” in the crowd, the event ended 30 minutes early, Connellan said.

“That was done in the interest of public safety, to get everyone out of here in an orderly fashion,” he said.

Orange Madness, an event to kick off the SU men’s and women’s basketball teams’ seasons, began at 8 p.m. in the Dome. More than 15,000 people attended. General admission for the event was free and open to the public.

This was the fourth year in a row that the event was held in the Carrier Dome after moving from Manley Field House. While it has been free and open to the public in past years, this is the first time a problem of this nature has come about, Connellan said.

Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Athletic Director Daryl Gross released a joint statement early Saturday morning addressing the stabbing.

“We were saddened to learn of the incident at the Dome last night,” Cantor and Gross said in the statement. “There is no place and no tolerance for anything like this, and future Orange Madness events will be designed to prevent incidents such as this.”

The incident may spur changes to future events like Orange Madness, according to the DPS notice.

“The University has already begun to carefully review the ticketing, seating and overall plan for future Orange Madness events,” according to the notice.

Multiple police units helped facilitate the early exit and no additional problems occurred, Connellan said.

“We want to assure everyone that the Dome is safe,” he said. “This is a very rare event to have something like this happen inside the Dome.”

Devon Balk, a sophomore information and technology major who attended the event, said she noticed the event was shorter, but was unsure why.

“They didn’t make a big deal out of it, but you could tell something was going on,” she said. “Everyone’s head turned and I saw security guards chasing people. I just thought it was a fight.”

Balk said she saw police cars outside, but didn’t think anything of it, and that she didn’t notice anyone panicking.

Kelsey Francella, a sophomore communications design major who also attended the event, said the incident was “bizarre” and that attendees were “packed like sardines” as they left the Dome.

“We saw the security guards in the yellow jackets getting people out of their seats,” she said. “I don’t think anyone knew (about the incident), at least students, until after.”

—Editor in Chief Mark Cooper and Asst. News Editor Meredith Newman contributed reporting to this article.

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