Hot Topic

Two Howell men have been arrested in connection with a fracas last month outside Chubby's Waterside Café that left a Middletown man with a stab wound to one leg, Red Bank police are reporting this afternoon.

Eighteen-year-old Travis LaFalce was arrested last Friday at his home by borough police, with an assist from the Howell PD, and charged with aggravated assault, weapons possession and related charges, according to Capt. Steve McCarthy.

Yesterday, borough police returned to Howell to arrest Steven Donoghue, 21, in connection with the February 20 incident. He was also charged with aggravated assault, weapons and other violations.

Borough court Judge William Himelman set bail at $32,000 for LaFalce and $31,000 for Donoghue. Each was released on bail the day of his arrest.

Police included this information in their announcement of the arrests:

LaFalce and Donoghue were identified at the scene on February 20, 2009
by Ptl. Ashon Lovick and Matt Ehrenreich as being present and
subsequent investigation by Det. Robert Clayton led to charges being
filed against them. Members of the Howell Township Police Department
Detective Bureau assisted the Red Bank Police Department throughout
this investigation.

Details of the incident remain sketchy. Police have said that they responded to a 1:21a call about a large fight in the area of West Front Street and English Plaza among patrons leaving Chubby's. There, they found one man unconscious and another with a stab wound. The fight had broken up.

At nearly the same time, two other fights broke out, one outside the West Front Street nightclub and another inside.

The unconscious man, an 18-year-old Middletown resident, refused
treatment after coming to. The stabbing victim, 19, was treated at
Riverview Medical Center and released shortly afterward.

LaFalce was charged with simple assault for allegedly knocking the 18-year-old unconscious, McCarthy tells redbankgreen. Both LaFalce and Donoghue were charged in connection with the stabbing.

The events occurred as the borough council was already mulling a proposed ban — since passed — on so-called college nights, at which under-21s are allowed entry to bars despite a state law that prohibits alcohol consumption by anyone below that age. The new law requires parents or guardians to accompany under-21s to places where booze is served, with exceptions made for hotels and restaurants.

Though Chubby's owner Mike Gilson protested that his club was the sole target of the ban, officials cited some 60 incidents over the preceding year in which police had to respond to calls involving clubgoers.

A melee outside Chubby's in October, 2007 required law enforcement backup from several nearby towns to quell and left one officer injured.

Email this story