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Depeche Mode Fans Become Unruly at Store

TIMES STAFF WRITER

About 100 Los Angeles police officers outfitted in riot gear were sent to a La Cienega Boulevard music store Tuesday night after fans of the British rock group Depeche Mode, who had turned out en masse for a record-signing event, became unruly.

More than 2,000 fans, some of whom had camped out in front of the Wherehouse store since Sunday morning, began shoving to get closer to members of the band, described by critics as one of the most popular of the synthesizer groups that play “Anglo-angst” music.

The band members where scheduled to be at the store for three hours to sign copies of their new release, “Violator.” But because of the crowd’s reaction, they were escorted away in a limousine by a police motorcycle brigade shortly after arriving, Officer Charles Newman said.

Police reported several skirmishes and minor acts of vandalism.

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A Fire Department spokesman said four people had been transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but no serious injuries were reported.

“There were so many people packed into the area, they began pressing against the front of the store,” Newman said. “The store managers were afraid the glass was going to break.”

Neighbors also called police to complain of fans who, over the course of the three-day wait, littered, painted graffiti on homes, broke windows and defecated on lawns, Newman said.

In 1988, the band played to more than 70,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.

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