By JOHN T. WARD
For the second time in two weeks, Red Bank nightclub Fixx was the source of a sprawling melee early Sunday, one that required the help of cops from as far away as Keyport and Long Branch to get under control, police said.
Fights that began inside the troubled West Front Street club spilled out into the street at about 1:30 a.m. and spread, said Captain Darren McConnell.
RBPD called in help from numerous northern Monmouth County towns, with about 25 officers from as far away as Keyport and Long Branch racing into town to help the Red Bank force quell the violence, he said.
No arrests were made because officers were so busy breaking up fights that they couldn’t simultaneously attend to the arrest process, said McConnell, who has been the officer in charge of the department since the death of Chief Steve McCarthy last month.
When violence is widespread and ongoing, “it’s more important to first get the crowd under control,” McConnell said.
Police blocked West Front Street to traffic between Broad Street ad English Plaze for the 30 minutes it took to disperse a crowd of fight participants and onlookers estimated at 200 people. McConnell said.
“We just moved the crowd down from West Front to English Plaza to White Street, where many of them had parked,” he said. Along the way, police had to break up another fight on White, he said.
No one was known to be seriously injured as a result, though Red Bank’s Volunteer First Aid Squad was on scene to offer help, he said.
On September 22, a “pretty good melee” involving Fixx patrons resulted in three arrests and visits to the emergency room at Riverview Medical Center for three cops.
And as previously reported by redbankgreen, the club was the site of a donnybrook in 2007.
Citing Fixx as the most problematic watering hole in town, borough officials in 2011 threatened to go after its license, owned by Little Silver residents Mike and Kathleen Gilson. But the Gilsons got a reprieve after a deal negotiated with McCarthy that called for beefed-up security and other measures.
But a recommendation by McCarthy that Fixx be required to turn off its music at 1:15 a.m. instead of 1:30 was not adopted after Gilson complained that it would kill his business.
McConnell said Sunday that he has been in touch with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, headed by former Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, over possible charges and legal action regarding the license.