FARGO — An organizer for a local hip-hop festival has been arrested in connection to a large weekend fight that left three people with knife wounds near downtown Fargo.
Jason Mandez Grant, 47, appeared Monday, Sept. 21, in Cass County District Court on three Class C felonies of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.
The charges stem from an early Sunday morning fight at Grant’s business at 1335 Fifth Ave. N., about a block west of North University Drive, police said.
According to court documents:
A large group of people came after close time from the Old Broadway in downtown Fargo to the place where Grant rented space for his business, Advanced Movers. When Grant told the group there was not going to be a party at his place, a fight started involving multiple people. Three people were left with multiple lacerations described as stab and cut wounds.
One witness who was injured said a man matching Grant’s description pulled out a knife and “started cuttin’,” though it appears witnesses told varying accounts of what caused the fight. One of the alleged victims described the fight as a "large melee."
Grant’s forearm was injured.
Grant initially told police he had been assaulted and had no knowledge of anyone being stabbed, the court document said.
It doesn't appear that anyone named in Grant's complaint had been charged as of Tuesday.
Grant, a local rapper who goes by the name J-Sauce, is known for organizing the annual Fargo-Moorhead rap concert dubbed Spring Jam. Founded in 1997, the 2015 festival that was held in Moorhead was shut down by police after what Grant called two minor incidents — a report of someone smoking marijuana and an argument, according to Forum archives.
Moorhead police said they stopped the show because of increasingly rowdy behavior by concertgoers, with one report saying there was “close to a riot” outside the hotel where the event was shut down.
Grant said in an interview with The Forum the shuttering of the event was an overreaction and an example of “cultural profiling toward hip-hop.”
Police disputed claims that officers were guilty of cultural profiling.
Grant had to move the venue from Fargo to Moorhead in 2015 after disputed claims one of the performers was affiliated with a gang.
The Forum reached out to Grant, who is being held in jail on bond, and his court-appointed attorney, Elizabeth Brainerd. Neither returned messages left by a reporter Tuesday afternoon.