Harrison Police officials said on Sunday a doubleheader soccer match was held at Red Bull Arena in which the game featured two teams from Honduras, Olympia and Montagua, and two teams from Colombia, America de Cali and Medellin.
According to Lieutenant Charles Schimpf, the first match was scheduled to start at 4:30. That match included the two Honduran teams, Olympia and Montagua.
According to Lieutenant Schimpf, spectators gathered in neighboring lots around the arena to tailgate before the match. As the game approached, two large groups of supporters, one from each team, clashed in the parking lot.
Lieutenant Schimpf said Rocks and debris were thrown back and forth between the two groups, prompting a quick police response. As police units responded to the parking lot, additional fans rushed to join in. Harrison Police officials requested mutual aid from surrounding towns was made and additional police units arrived to assist in dispersing the crowds.
One civilian was treated for a head injury and one officer suffered a minor injury to his hand after being struck by thrown rocks. No arrests were made and a suspect could not be identified. Lieutenant Schimpf said that the crowds were dispersed at that time and they made their way into the arena.
Based on the pregame behavior of the fans and the history of unrest between the two teams, a request through the New Jersey State Police, Regional Operations & Intelligence Center was made and additional police and tactical units from the region were dispatched to Red Bull arena to assist with crowd control.
Lieutenant Schimpf said during the match, there were multiple altercations in the seating area and on the concourse. Those incidents were quickly resolved by security and police personnel inside of the arena.
At the end of the first match, fans from opposing teams comingled as they exited the arena. It was during this time that multiple altercations and fights occurred in and around the stadium.
Police units were dispatched to various locations to disperse the crowds and attend to those injured during the melees. A total of nine civilians were injured during those incidents.
Lieutenant Schimpf said all the injured were transported to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment. One police officer was struck with a rock. He was evaluated and remained at the arena. Order was quickly restored and the second match began.
During the second match between Colombia, America de Cali and Medellin, there were no altercations or police action required.
After the second match, Lieutenant Schimpf said a large contingency of officers from throughout Hudson County, The New Jersey State Police and surrounding areas were present to facilitate the orderly exit of spectators from the arena. The stadium and surrounding areas were cleared of spectators without incident.
The parking lots were then cleared of lingering tailgaters and all police units stood down.
Based on victim and doctor interviews conducted at the hospital by the Harrison Police department, all injuries sustained during all of the altercations were superficial, non-life-threatening and caused by blunt force.
All victims were treated and released from the hospital.
At this time, no arrests have been made, Lieutenant Schimpf said.