Brother of man killed during deadly stampede at Diddy-backed charity event says ‘karma’ catching up to him

There was no way out.

Haunted by the ghost of a 20-year-old college student who died in a stampede at a celebrity basketball game sponsored by Diddy in 1991, his brother believes “karma” is catching up with the embattled mogul.

Dirk, the brother of Jason Swain, who was just 20 years old at the time, was one of nine people crushed to death in a crowd that poured into the packed event inside City College’s gymnasium.

“I believe in karma,” Swain, now 49, told the Post this week. “He never really admitted anything, he never told us he was sorry. I think whatever is going on with him now, he deserved it. But , I lost everything that day. I lost my brother. I lost my best friend.”

Diddy, 54, is currently under federal investigation on sex trafficking charges, and his homes in Miami and Los Angeles were searched last week by Homeland Security agents looking to seize evidence. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has also denied his previous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Jason Swain’s younger brother was killed during a 1991 riot at City College in Harlem. james cavom
Diddy settled several lawsuits stemming from the disaster Willy San Juan/Invision/AP

Swain, who created documentary about disasters He said he has worked tirelessly to keep his brother’s memory alive, and that the blame for the tragedy lies not only with Diddy but with many people, including the noisy attendees and the police.

The event was an early promotion for the then-little-known music industry figure then known as Sean “Puffy” Combs, who would go on to become Bad Boy Records’ brash impresario. Met.

The game featured some of the major hip-hop names of the day, including Big Daddy Kane, Ed Lover, members of Run-DMC, and Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe. Mike Tyson and LL Cool J also appeared.

But the Harlem disaster that made headlines around the world would almost end Diddy’s career before it began. His label at the time, Uptown Records, fired him due to public backlash over the riot.

“This was his first bad decision,” Swain said of his response to the incident.

Brothers Dirk Swain (left) and Jason Swain (right) as children. james cavom

Former Diddy bodyguard Gene Diehl, who was also at the fight, said his boss was distraught at being fired.

“We put him on suicide watch.” Mr. Diehl spoke on Vlad TV. “I think he was preparing to commit suicide because he thought he had lost everything.”

No criminal charges were filed after this tragic incident. A New York judge’s ruling in a related civil suit will ultimately place some of the blame for the tragedy on Combs, saying he did not plan the event properly and provided adequate security. He claimed that he was negligent in not providing the information. The university also held him responsible.

Victims’ families said at the time that Combs resisted accountability and never properly apologized.

Swain’s late mother, Barbara Swain, told the media long after the incident that she desperately wanted Diddy to take some responsibility for the fiasco that claimed her son’s life.

“I want Sean to step up to the plate and say, ‘I made a mistake.’ she told the Daily News in 1998. “I shouldn’t have done this.”

Nine people died after rushing out the door to attend a celebrity basketball game. new york post
The event was hosted by Diddy and rapper Heavy D. new york post
Responding paramedics were shocked to see bodies strewn on the floor. new york post

Bronx-born Charlisse Miles was just 21 years old when she bought a ticket to the lavish event and excitedly boarded the subway to City College.

Miles, who now lives in Georgia, recalled the incident for the first time in more than 30 years and said the horror of that day still haunts her.

“We were chest-to-chest for hours,” she said of participants waiting for a chance to enter the gym. She was “moving a few steps an hour.”

Miles said he was one of the lucky ones to finally make it inside the crowded venue, where artists from Boyz II Men and Jodeci ran around the court.

“At some point, there was a rush inside the company,” she said. “And then you saw bodies falling. People were being trampled. It was chaos.”

The judge held event organizers and City University administrators accountable. new york post

Miles said he saw Didi walk past him as the tragedy unfolded. And he seemed more concerned about securing his spoils of the day and making a hasty retreat than about the carnage that was unfolding.

“He walked past me after a huge crowd at the gym. He was with Davante Adams from Jodeci,” she said. “And he didn’t care about what was going on. He just wanted to grab his stuff and get out of there. He didn’t feel any remorse or responsibility. He just wanted to grab his stuff and get out of there. Like, let’s go.”

Miles said the news about Diddy’s legal troubles in recent weeks has brought her back to the scene.

Diddy and rapper Heavy D were working at Uptown Records at the time. Getty Images

“When that crowd came rushing in, they didn’t care about us,” she said. “I think his past actions are coming back to him. I can’t say he’s surprised.”

Diddy then rose to superstardom after overcoming the City College controversy and setting Bad Boy records.

He mentioned the incident at a court hearing in 1998, long after he had established himself as an industry powerhouse.

“City College is something I work towards every day of my life,” he said. According to the New York Times. “But what I’m dealing with will never compare to the pain my family is dealing with. I just pray every day for the family and for the children who lost their lives. ”

Diddy made several settlements in connection with the incident, but his final payment in 2000 closed City College’s legal record regarding the Stampede incident.

But Swain told the Post that the events of that day, and the memories he has with his brother, have been indelibly branded.

“I still miss him,” the videographer said.