Police in Pennsylvania have issued an arrest warrant for hardcore rapper Noreaga, following an incident in which he allegedly beat a 16-year-old fan during an altercation with an angry crowd on Friday night.
Police say the alleged beating came after the 20-year-old rapper (born Victor Santiago) irritated an audience at the Zembo Mosque in Harrisburg, Pa., first by taking the stage four hours late, then by cutting his set to a single song.
Noreaga then berated the audience, which was described as small for the
2,400-capacity hall, according to police detective William Jackson, who was
off-duty and working the event as security staff. "Harrisburg is some broke motherf----rs" and "You're a sorry crowd -- you have no money" were among the taunts issued by the rapper, who quickly left the stage, Jackson said.
An acrimonious crowd then followed Noreaga, who has previously served time in prison for attempted murder, into the Mosque parking lot. "Him and his crew jumped into their Ford Exposition and started driving away," Jackson said on Monday morning (Aug. 31). Someone then threw a bicycle at the vehicle, and missed, he said.
"That's when the bodyguard and Santiago exited the truck and they grabbed this kid who was just standing there," Jackson said. "And that's when they beat him up and we intervened. We sprayed mace and broke up the fight. Basically, by now we're trying to give the rappers protection to get out of there because the crowd's getting more hostile at them."
The injured concert-goer, Colin Burns, was treated and released from Pinnacle Health Care's Polyclinic Hospital at 1 a.m. on Saturday, according to hospital spokeswoman Lela Zimmerman.
At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jackson arrived at Noreaga's hotel room to arrest him and his bodyguard for beating Burns, but the pair had already left. Warrants for aggravated assault were subsequently issued for both the rapper and the bodyguard, who is listed as John Doe.
A representative from the Shriners-owned Zembo Mosque, who would not give his name, confirmed on Monday that there was a fight in the venue's parking lot after Noreaga's performance. Zenobia Simmons, a spokeswoman for Penalty Records, the label for which Noreaga records, said Monday she had not been informed of the incident.
The fight is far from the first run-in with the law for Noreaga, who released his debut solo album, N.O.R.E., earlier this year. The album, which features the single "Superthug," is currently #44 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
He and rap partner Capone (born Kiam Holley) met in a prison kitchen in 1992, when both were serving unrelated terms for attempted murder, Simmons said. While in jail, the pair vowed to turn their lives around through hip-hop, and released their well-received debut album, The War Report, in 1997. Shortly after, Capone returned to prison on a parole violation, where he produced Noreaga's solo album by phone.
Noreaga's appearance at the Zembo Mosque was a mistake, according to the venue representative. "We don't allow rap concerts here and we were told that it wasn't a rap concert," the spokesman said. "We were misled by the production agency." According to the representative, the venue has had bad experiences in the past with rap performances, although he could not say with which artists.
Kahuna Productions, which promoted the concert, could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Jackson said he is attempting to contact Noreaga's agent and label. "I'm sure once he realizes there's a warrant, he'll come back and turn himself in," he said.