People, parents recount stories of getting trampled inside the Armory
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – When you talk to people who were at the concert at the Armory Sunday night, they all say it was a fun event. But, something panicked the crowd and it got bad in an instant.
“Me and the girl next to me were climbing on each other trying to get each other up,” Ikea Hayes said outside the Armory Monday afternoon.
Hayes and two friends from Niagara Falls and Toronto returned to the Armory to look for lost earrings, a phone and keys.
Hayes said she was near the front entrance of the Armory when she got knocked to the ground.
“How did you get up when you were on the floor?” her friend asked her. “Somebody helped you up or you just got up?”
“Me and the girl lying next to us we were like climbing up on each other,” Hayes answered.
Brean: “When you were on the ground, do you recall what you were thinking? What you were feeling?”
Hayes: “Hell yeah! My life was over. I was watching the life flash before my eyes and I still didn’t know what was going on so it’s like, not only am I on the ground, scared, praying like you got to get up. You got to move. If you stay here they’re going to keep running you over. So you got to get up. You got to move.”
“First of all, how is your daughter doing?” I asked Anthony Rouse at his house.
“She’s doing a lot better right now,” he said.
As a security guard, Rouse said he usually avoids the kind of show that was playing Sunday night. But when he found out his daughter was going, he signed up to work security. Rouse says he was working the VIP section near the stage when his daughter went down and got trampled near the entrance.
Monday, he was overcome with guilt.
“The whole reason I signed on was to protect her,” he said crying. “And I failed.”
Brean: “You just heard from your daughter. She’s getting out of the hospital.”
Rouse: “Yes, as we speak.”
Brean: “Do you feel better now?”
Rouse: “I feel better that my daughter is in a better situation than some of the other people that got stampeded. I don’t feel better about the situation.”
Brean: “Do you think there were too many people there last night?”
Rouse: “Too many people at a concert? I’m not a fire marshal but there were a lot of people.”
Brean: “Too many?”
Rouse: “Yes. I would say so.”
In the panic, people lost all kind of things. Hayes came looking for earring, a phone and keys. The doors were locked at the Armory and she and her friends walked away without them. Rouse’s daughter lost her phone. Today, GPS pinged it in Syracuse.