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Concert mosh-pit injury contested

A Niagara Falls man said he fractured his skull after being strangled to the point of unconsciousness in a fight while attending a heavy metal/rock concert in the Rapids Theatre on Main Street late Sunday.

Rapids Theatre President Ken Pawlukovich called the incident "a minor deal" that was over in a few minutes. "We are not sure exactly what happened, but he was in the mosh-pit area when he was knocked down," Pawlukovich said Monday.

The 30-year-old man told police he was moving through the crowd at the concert of alternative metal band Chevelle at 10:15 p.m. when he came upon an argument that had already begun.

The man said he told them he was just "passing through." However, one of the men, in his mid-20s with dark hair, punched him several times and then gripped his throat with both hands, cutting off his air supply. The victim said he threw punches in an attempt to get away but was unsuccessful. He said another man hit him in the head with an unknown object, and a woman punched him in the face.

Pawlukovich said the victim was treated at the scene by on-site emergency medical technicians and taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for a small cut on his head which required a couple stitches.

Police found finger marks on the man's throat when interviewing him just after midnight at the hospital Monday. Nurses confirmed the man had suffered a fractured skull.

The case was turned over to the detective bureau for investigation.