One man is critical...

Three men were stabbed, one of them critically, at a birthday bash for hip-hop star BUBBA SPARXXX in ATHENS, GEORGIA in the early hours of Wednesday morning (March 6).

The most serious of the trio of attacks came when Eric Diamond McAnally, manager of Athens rapper Haystack, was jumped by four or five men as he left the evening celebration’s at the Athens Music Factory at around 2.10am. The Athens Banner Herald report he was kicked and punched before he was stabbed twice, once in the back and once in the right side. Witnesses said the assailants used a broken beer bottle.

One witness told police that McAnally, who is white, was harassed for being with a black woman. It was also said troublemakers sprayed the couple with champagne earlier in the evening. The hospital reported him in a critical condition on Wednesday.

The other two men assaulted sustained less serious injuries. One, 21-year-old Thomas Leyva, was stabbed inside the club in the stomach after confronting a man who groped his girlfriend. Police believe he may have been stabbed with an ink pen.

The other, Arthur Smotherman, a 24-year-old artist relations manager for Nashville-based Dirty Bird Records, was stabbed in the arm with a broken bottle or knife outside the venue at 2.30am.

No arrests have been made. The Herald Tribune reports that the suspects are believed to be members of a loose-knit Athens gang. The locals were apparently picking fights with out-of-town visitors.

Sparxx, real name Warren Anderson Mathis who was celebrating turning 25, is said to be ”very unhappy” about the assaults. “It was personal friends of his that got into it and got injured,” his assistant manager Chad Wilkes said.

The party, billed as Bubba Sparxxx’ Birthday Bash, seemed destined for trouble from early on. While Wilkes said 600 people were let into the $10 per-head event, police estimated a crowd at anywhere from 800 to 1,000 people poured in. Organisers had trouble clearing people off the stage at one point during the show.