An estate sale at an East Hampton mansion went off the rails last weekend, as unprecedented crowds showed up to try to get a piece of a fabled history.
Riot conditions prevailed for several hours and the Hamptons Police were never able to gain control of the situation. While the Blotter is not at liberty to divulge the actual name of the estate where the disastrous sale took place, suffice it to say that it’s one that has achieved a high degree of recognition by means of a documentary, a Broadway musical and a Hollywood feature. As a consequence of the estate’s legendary status, an estimated 1,500 eager fans assembled Friday morning to get first crack at selecting from the contents of the house.
“We got word of a large crowd forming down there,” says Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch. “Our patrol officers went in to assess the situation, and reported that skirmishes among the buyers were already breaking out at 8:30 a.m., and the sale wasn’t set to begin until 10!”
Emergency workers were summoned to be on hand in case of serious injury. The precaution was warranted, according to Hirsch.
“These people weren’t fooling around. One woman wound up with a black eye because she was trying to get herself to the front of the line. Another woman was knocked unconscious after she tried to claim that she had dibs on a famous hotplate of some kind,” Hirsch says. “This was all before the gates opened.”
After the gates opened, says Hirsch, all hell broke loose. “You had pandemonium—a demoralizing display of some of the most inhumane behavior I’ve ever seen, and a reckless disregard for human life. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”
Hirsch adds that, in order to guarantee their own safety, officers were forced to remove themselves from the premises. “We just had to sit back and watch and wait for it to be over, when we could go in and tend to the wounded.”
The Hamptons Police Department reports that an estimated 50 attendees were treated for injuries.