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Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - Four people were shot and dozens of people were arrested Monday in a mile-long stretch of Manhattan near Times Square in mayhem that police said was connected to the start of the city's annual auto show.
A group of youths who attended the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob A. Javits Center ran amok in midtown Manhattan.
Chief NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne said additional officers were on patrol because similar problems have happened during past auto shows.
"Young men looking for trouble afterwards," he said. "There has been incidents over the years. It's something we watch over and we prepare for it in advance."
Police made 54 arrests, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct. Police weren't sure how many of those arrested knew each other, or what sparked the shootings that began shortly after midnight.
A man was shot in the ankle at Eighth Avenue and 40th Street around 12:10 a.m. Shortly after, a woman was hit with a BB gun several blocks northeast at Seventh Avenue and 51st Street.
About two hours later, two women were shot _ one in the elbow and another in the thigh _ near Seventh Avenue and 34th Street.
The shootings represent the second major instance of gunfire in the area in recent months, where police have worked for years to stop petty crimes and hustlers targeting tourists. Police and a street hustler armed with a machine pistol exchanged shots in December in Times Square - shattering a Broadway theater ticket window and scattering crowds - before police shot the man dead.
Auto show spokesman Chris Sams said no one stood out as suspicious at the show Sunday.
"We had an amazing crowd, a very family-oriented crowd. The type of person who makes an auto show great, people listening to the presenters," he said.
Sams said security at the show is tight, and officials work with police. Visitors are checked when they arrive.
The auto show runs until April 11 and showcases the latest and greatest in automobiles, like the smallest car on the U.S. market, an $11,900 Smart Fortwo, to the show's most expensive wheels, a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe costing $518,800.