UPDATE: Man dies after 250-person bowling alley brawl
A night out at the bowling alley turned ugly at Stelton Lanes in Piscataway, N.J. early Saturday morning, reports NJ.com.
Officers were called to the scene around 1:30 a.m. Saturday and found approximately 250 people at the bowling alley fighting in the parking lot and inside the bowling alley. Jamount Atkins, 23, of Newark was found unconscious and beaten in one of the lanes. Atkins was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 a.m., reports NJ.com.
More officers were called to the scene, leading those involved to flee the bowling alley. Police still have not arrested any suspects but Detective Todd Ritter told NJ.com that they are investigating “people of interest” and that Atkins did not seem like a troublemaker. They do not know what caused the brawl.
Twitter searches reveal that there was a big party on Friday night at Stelton Lanes called “The College: Bowling Bash.” DJ Wallah of hip-hop radio station Hot 97 was at the party.
Atkins worked at FedEx, according to his Facebook. He wrote about the bowling alley party the day of on his Twitter account:
catch me & my squad at stelton lanes tonite #capboyz
— Jamont Atkins (@montCAPboii1) October 18, 2013
His girlfriend of nearly six years, Shaniqua Gayle, 22, told Metro she was in Washington, D.C., during the incident but rushed back to New Jersey when she heard the news. Gayle seemed astonishingly composed when she spoke of her boyfriend. “He was very loving and very energetic,” she said. “He was very dedicated to work, too. He worked at Ampco System Parking at Newark Airport during the day and then FedEx at night.”
Gayle said her friends who were at the event told her that a stranger at the party approached Atkins and tried to start a fight. She said when Atkins walked away, the man came back to him and punched him and the two started fighting and the man took a bowling ball and struck Atkins in the back of the head, knocking him out and ultimately killing him. Metro was unable to reach the Middlesex Prosecutor’s office to confirm details.
Gayle told Metro that Atkins always stayed out of trouble. “That’s what was so surprising,” she said. “He’s never been incarcerated; he’s never been locked up. People might judge him because he has tattoos but he never started altercations.”
Gayle also said that in spite of Atkins’ easy-going disposition, he tended to attract trouble for no reason. She said that in July, a security guard was trying to get people to leave a nightclub because it was over capacity and pulled Atkins out by the neck: The guard took such a stronghold on Atkins that he accidentally choked him and Atkins ended up in the hospital for five days.
Atkins was close with his parents and eight siblings and his mother is heartbroken by his death, Gayle said. The student said she works two jobs and is trying to keep her mind off the tragedy by working and attending class. “I cry when I’m by myself so I try to be around other people,” she said. “But it’s hard. I was with him for over five years and now he’s gone and he was taken so abruptly. I don’t know what’s next for me.” Atkins’ family plans to hold a wake on Friday and a funeral on Saturday for him: The location is still undetermined.
6 years strong, NOBODY has ever broken that bond & NOBODY will ever break it. Thankful God left me with his heart❤️ @montcapboii1 I GOT US
— So Spoiled™ (@Pretty_Tiny_) October 19, 2013
Even while I’m crying I’m sitting here smiling thinking bout him…..
— So Spoiled™ (@Pretty_Tiny_) October 20, 2013