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COP INJURED IN WEST FRONT STREET MELEE: ‘ONE OF THE WORST’ BRAWLS, POLICE SAY

A series of fistfights outside Chubby’s Waterside Cafe on West Front Street early Saturday morning escalated into a near riot, with Red Bank police calling in backups from seven nearby departments and one officer ending up injured, Capt. Steve McCarthy reported today.

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The incident began as dozens of young people began loitering outside the bar and its vicinity, many of them apparently not patrons of the club, which was hosting a hip hop music event, McCarthy said.

As clubgoers emerged from the bar, a number of fights broke out, some of them involving as many as 15 people, he said.

Police officers who attempted to break up the fights were set upon by people in the crowd, McCarthy said.

“They would try to stop one group from fighting and there’d be another group fighting,” he said. “It was constant for about half an hour or so.”

Police realized they couldn’t get the scene under control by themselves and called for backup shortly before 2a. A mutual aid response from Middletown, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Fort Monmouth brought the police contingent to about 20 before the crowd was dispersed, McCarthy said.

“From the officers who were there, some of whom have quite a number of years on the force, this was one of the worst things they can remember,” McCarthy said. “This is not a common occurrence at all.”

Red Bank Sgt. Richard Mangold was injured while attempting to stop one of the subjects from assaulting another Red Bank officer, McCarthy said. Mangold was treated and released from Riverview Medical Center for unspecified injury.

Despite the widespread violations, there were no arrests. McCarthy explained why.

“It was because of the number of people there,” he said. “Obviously, there was enough (wrongdoing) to charge people with disorderly conduct and failure to disperse and even riot, for that matter. But when you have that many people and that few officers, to start to break them away to transport someone into headquarters, then you’re reducing your force that’s trying to protect the property and protect the people out there.”

redbankgreen asked if Chubby’s would be getting extra attention from the police in the future.

“We’ve been in contact with the owner of Chubby’s and we’re going to sit down and talk with him,” McCarthy said.

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