Visual Arts

Phoenix PD Break Up a Fight at Studio 8 on First Friday

Artist Jason Hill threw a party at Studio 8 last Friday and come Saturday, I heard two things about it: It was a super fun time and the cops showed up.

But it wasn't for noise disturbance...

Hill says that as the party was winding down around 1 a.m. early Saturday morning, one of the guests noticed her purse was missing. Nicolle Clemetson (a member of the Studio 8 photography collective), realized some camera equipment, a few bottles of wine, a french press coffee brewer, and some other items in the studio had gone missing.

Hill claims a stylist named Chris Phillips, who works at Hair Pollution Salon, and his friends were the culprits. The items were allegedly found in one of his friend's purses.

Of course, this led to some scuffles.

"I split up one of the fights between Chris Phillips and Andrew Urban, who is another photographer at Studio 8," says Hill.

Hill then asked the unwanted guests to leave. Things heated up and Hill eventually had to shove them out of the gallery and slam the door. "At that point they really flipped out, screaming and pounding and kicking at the door," says Hill.

That's when Clemetson called the cops.

Chris Phillips, however, says things didn't go down that way.

He tells New Times that, yes, one of the people he showed up with stole the items. However, the guy was a friend of a friend who was in town from Pittsburgh. Phillips had just met him that night.

Phillips says he was at Studio 8, having a good time, when a fight started outside. When it turned out that his acquaintance from Pittsburgh had the missing items, Phillips says he was "shocked and blown away."

The next day, the manager at Hair Pollution Salon received a phone call from someone at the party. The caller complained to the manager about Phillips' behavior from the night before.

"I didn't do anything," Phillips says. "I was guilty by association."

Phillips says it was a woman named Cary Lopiccolo who made the call. Lopiccolo is Jason Hill's girlfriend.

According to Phillips, Lopiccolo came in for a haircut a number of weeks ago. When she left the salon, she seemed happy. Later, she came back saying her boyfriend (presumably Jason Hill) had to fix the haircut. She wanted her money back.

Instead, Phillips offered her $50 off her next appointment.

"She's just trying to rake me across the coals," Phillips says. He has since removed Lopiccolo from his client list. "This whole thing is really embarrassing for a number of people. I just don't want this to progress into anything even more unnecessary than it already is."

Both Hill and Phillips say the night ended with someone in handcuffs but the Phoenix Police Department denies that any arrests were made - stolen items were recovered and no one wanted to press charges so only an incident report was filed.

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi