By JOHN T. WARD
Legal action against Red Bank nightclub Fixx could come as early as Wednesday in the aftermath of the second closing-time melee in two weeks early Sunday morning, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.
Menna said he had ordered borough departments to report on “all incidents and violations” involving the West Front Street club since January 1, with an eye toward a possible announcement of legal action at Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the mayor and council.
“I’m prepared to take action to ending this completely unacceptable business model,” Menna said Monday. Unruly behavior by bar patrons “is obviously being condoned” its owners, he added.
“The owners have been thumbing their noses at the municipality,” he said. “They can’t control their business. It’s time for the state to step in and control their business.”
Mike Gilson, who owns the bar with his wife, Kathleen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation.
In 2011, the Gilsons averted a license suspension by the borough when they agreed to a series of measures aimed at preventing violence.
Referring to that deal, Menna said Monday: “They skated the last time. They won’t skate this time.”
Captain Darren McConnell, the officer in charge of the police department since last month’s death of Chief Steve McCarthy, said Sunday that he was working with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, headed by former Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, over possible charges and legal action regarding the license.
Sunday’s brawling began in the bar at and spilled out into the streets at about 1:30 a.m., with numerous fights breaking out on West Front Street and in the English Plaza parking lot, with at least one additional fight on White Street. Some some 200 onlookers and combatants were present, McConnell said.
Red Bank had to call in mutual aid from towns as far away as Keyport and Long Branch to bring the situation under control, McConnell said. Some 25 officers from the region aided those from the borough department who were on duty or called in.
No arrests were made, as police focused on bringing order to the situation, McConnell said.
The melee was reminiscent of one that occurred on September 22. That one sent two cops, and three suspects, to the hospital with minor injuries. All three were arrested.
There was also a similar incident outside the bar in 2007.