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SEEKONK - The July 6 "Thrill Show" event at Seekonk Speedway was marred by drunken, unruly patrons who hurled rocks and bottles at police officers, according to a 51-page report issued this week by the Seekonk Police Department.

Numerous reports of blocked aisles and exits were a concern for public safety officials, who had to leave, then re-enter the stadium at one point to assist a patron who had been injured, according to the report presented to selectmen Wednesday.

Selectmen were attempting to determine if the racetrack violated terms of its alcoholic beverage license during the event.

The stadium was "literally jam-packed," Fire Chief Alan Jack said. "It was very, very overcrowded."

Police Chief Ron Charron said the management of the Speedway may have violated its liquor license by serving alcohol to patrons who were intoxicated. A report by Capt. Craig Mace said that sales of alcohol went on for more than eight hours, and did not end until the start of the fireworks show.

Lt. David Dyson recalled that there were five beer stands set up, with long lines blocking pathways into and out of the stadium. Trash was "overflowing everywhere," Dyson said.

Traffic congestion was also a major problem. Cars were backed up on Route 6 in both directions.

"It was gridlocked all day," Charron said.

A lack of parking at the Speedway was also a hassle, and police officers reported a shortage of parking attendants to assist patrons.

Frank Smith, the legal counsel for the Speedway, downplayed the trouble at the July 6 show, saying no one was placed under protective custody or arrested for drunken driving.

"If someone threw something on the track, it was misguided," Smith said. "We can't please everybody."

Officers complained about a lack of assistance from Speedway personnel.

"There was no staff," Officer Tom Hedrick said. "We had no help."

Selectmen were not ready to make a decision regarding the possible violations of the Speedway's alcohol license at Wednesday's meeting. Town Administrator Michael Carroll, along with Charron and Jack, planned to discuss a list of recommendations drawn up by Charron to make changes at the Speedway.

Selectmen said a continuation of the public hearing will be held on Aug. 13.

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2008/07/26/news/3450032.txt
 
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