Crowd gets rowdy at rapper’s autograph signing

Officer injured, girl, 13, arrested on Newbury St.

By Neal J. Riley
Globe Correspondent / May 13, 2011

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An autograph signing by a rapper on Newbury Street turned chaotic yesterday when a rowdy crowd gathered, leaving a police officer injured and a 13-year-old girl under arrest, Boston police said.

Rapper and record producer Tyler, the Creator, was scheduled to sign autographs inside Newbury Comics at 4 p.m., according to the store’s website. But around that time, police were called to the scene when an officer escorting the artist reported that the crowd of more than 100 had become overwhelming.

“The crowd began to swarm around the artist and began to push and grab at both parties,’’ Boston police spokesman Officer Eddy Chrispin said.

An officer suffered a back injury while trying to contain the crowd and was treated and released from a local hospital last night, Chrispin said.

In addition, a 13-year-old female was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, he said.

Police also responded to a group of individuals who were climbing a fire escape in the back of the building, according to police spokesman David Estrada. A video posted on the blog of online music publication Pitchfork appeared to show two men spurring the crowd on from a roof.

“It clearly became a public safety issue,’’ Chrispin said of the event.

Last night, a manager at Newbury Comics said that he could not comment on the incident.

Guillermo Antonini, a Boston University student who attended the event, said that a crowd was gathered outside the store, and that some people were on the roof. When the scene became too unorganized, he said, police were called. He later saw a young woman being arrested.

Next door at Bauer Wines & Spirits, manager John Stepanski said he saw police among the people lined up outside Newbury Comics but did not see any disorderly behavior.

“Except for being excited, it looked to be a pretty reasonable crowd,’’ he said.

Tyler, 20, is the front man of Los Angeles rap group OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All). He released his second album, “Goblin,’’ on Tuesday and was scheduled to perform with his group last night at the Paradise Rock Club.

Neal Riley can be reached at