BlackBerry's London BBM Party Turns Sour as Man Is Stabbed In Neck

By Kat Hannaford on at

It's been a rough old week for RIM, which has had to fight back against reports that it's hanging up its coat in the consumer-room and will only service the corporate types. Now, this -- a 30-something man who was "glassed" at a party to celebrate the BBM service last night in London, where Jessie J performed only minutes earlier.

According to various witness reports in The Telegraph and across Twitter, the stabbing was sparked by hundreds of guests (which included the usual scrum of tech journalists, plus competition winners and the odd token "celebrity" from The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea) running for the cloak room after Jessie J finished her performance around 11:40pm.

The Telegraph reported that a fight broke out between people competing to get their coats, with a 30-something man being "stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle." After a "huge" amount of blood, the man was carted off to hospital from London Bridge's Pulse nightclub, and was in a "serious" condition according to police, who have confirmed someone was arrested following detaining and interviewing 450 of the party's 700 guests until 1:50am.

I spoke to a RIM rep who pointed me towards the two tweets pushed out from BlackBerry's UK Twitter account, which confirmed that "a serious incident occurred involving a guest at a BlackBerry event tonight. Our first concern is the well-being of the individual concerned," and that they are "doing all that [they] can to assist the police with their enquiries and are not able to provide any further comment at this time."

It's the kind of publicity that RIM definitely doesn't need, after being linked to last year's London riots, not to mention their beleaguered CEO shake-ups. On a personal note, I'm now even more relieved I decided to sack the party off in favour of a night in front of the TV -- I loathe Jessie J. [The Telegraph]

Above Image Credit: broken bottle from Shutterstock; below image credit: NotUrAverageJ0 via Tech Digest


Update: I got in touch with CNET UK's editor Jason Jenkins, who was at the party. He told me that:

"Someone mentioned to me that there had been a fight, but I only realised how serious it was when I came to leave and found I was locked in the venue with a few hundred other people at the request of the police. I was shunted around a bit while the staff tried to figure out where to put everyone, and eventually managed to leave the venue after a couple of hours. It took so long because the police needed to take everyone's name, date of birth, address and contact number before they could leave. It was a sad end to what had been a fun evening, but I mostly hope that the victim recovers quickly."