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Massive Brawl Breaks Out At 230 Elm; One Arrested

Publication: The Southampton Press
By Colleen Reynolds   Sep 5, 2011 12:18 PM
Sep 8, 2011 3:42 PM

Southampton Village Police used pepper spray to disperse a brawling crowd at 230 Elm, a Southampton Village catering hall on Elm Street, early Saturday morning, as patrons fought, threw chairs and pushed one another down the outside stairs, according to police.

One man was arrested, and additional arrests are possible, they said.

Police said there were about 300 people at the hall, although not all of them were involved in the brawl.

Mayor Mark Epley said he has requested a report on the incident from police after neighbors complained to him about noise and one man complained about getting pepper-sprayed on the arm.

Police said a security guard came running out of 230 Elm on Elm Street shortly after 3 a.m. on Saturday, yelling, “We need you guys in there now! There is a huge fight. We need help.” Officers had originally responded to the bar at about 2 a.m. for a noise complaint. Security had already removed a man for fighting with another patron but allowed him to return a short time later. Police said they stayed nearby because of the large crowd inside and the potential for further violence.

Once the security guard asked for help, police ran to the front door but could not enter, they said, because of the large number of people fighting in the vestibule.

A large crowd then poured outside. “All were fighting. Chairs were being thrown, and both men and women were being pushed down the cement stairs,” the police report of the incident stated.

Officers said that they sprayed several canisters of pepper spray and a pepper ball gun after the crowd did not comply with orders to disperse. “Numerous smaller fights” continued in the street and in front of 230 Elm, police said. Town Police responded to back up Village Police, along with New York State Police and Westhampton Beach Village Police. East Hampton Town Police were on standby at the town line.

When Michael N. Lacy, 20, of Southampton was asked to leave, he ran past officers back inside the club with his shirt over his face, they said. He then came back out and charged toward officers, cursing and inciting the crowd, police said.

Police said there was nothing to indicate that Mr. Lacy was one of the men involved in the initial fight, and they could not say what first sparked the altercation.

Mr. Lacy was arrested at 3:50 a.m. and charged with rioting in the second degree, resisting arrest, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, all misdemeanors, and two counts of disorderly conduct, a violation. The mischief charge came from his damaging a Southampton Town Police vehicle by kicking its door and window.

He was taken to Southampton Hospital because he had to be subdued with pepper spray. “We take everybody to the hospital if we pepper-spray them, if we can,” Southampton Village Police Chief Thomas Cummings said.

Mr. Lacy was then taken to Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of $2,500 bail following his Saturday morning arraignment in Southampton Village Justice Court. He is due back in court on Monday, September 12.

Several Village Police officers were also exposed to the spray, and Village Police Officer Michael Horstman injured his left thumb during the altercation with Mr. Lacy, according to police. Officer Horstman went to Southampton Hospital for testing. He is currently out of work because of the injury for seven days, pending medical test results, police said.

The owner of 230 Elm, Tim Burke, who was present that morning, was ticketed for noise violations for that incident and later that weekend as well, police said. Mr. Burke said he was upset that police used pepper spray, but he would not offer an alternative suggestion. “I felt it exacerbated the situation. It also forced people back inside the building,” he said.

One patron who was at 230 Elm at the time of the commotion, Tunica West, criticized police’s handling of the incident. Ms. West said that she and other patrons, who were there for a party featuring DJ Capri, were trying to exit the club to get away from the fight, but were forced back inside when police pepper-sprayed them, which, she claimed, was done without warning. Police said they resorted to using pepper spray when verbal commands were not followed.

“When I was finally able to get outside, you couldn’t get outside, because [an officer] Maced us, and we had to run back in toward the violence,” Ms. West said. “A lot of people’s clothes got ruined. People got burned in their faces. I got hit directly in my eye, up my nose. I swallowed some of it, and I have an asthma condition.”

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Thank God the summer "season" is over and the knuckleheads from elsewhere will be gone for the next 9 months.
By bigfresh (1253), north sea on Sep 5, 11 3:02 PM
if you read the article this particular "knucklehead" is from Southampton. As a local myself it is getting really old hearing other locals stereotype in regards to those here seasonally or part time otherwise. These people bring an enormous amount of revenue and many other positive benefits to our community. A good deal of local people would be belly up without them. And further more there are plenty of locals who cause trouble and don't contribute in any way, shape or form to our community. ...more
By Sunny333 (2), Sag Harbor on Sep 6, 11 3:14 PM
You are right Sunny333. Enough naysaying about the city people. They are our bread and butter. It's so dead out here off= season without the income of tourism. Businesses can barely survive and people hang on til the next summer. We have plenty of"idyits" living right here as the article attests. As for Tim having 300 people in his establishment, that seems nearly impossible and highly unlikely. Sorry, couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
By Infoseeker (92), Hampton Bays on Sep 6, 11 11:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you!
By Sunny333 (2), Sag Harbor on Sep 7, 11 12:45 PM
bf is not known for owning a wide angle lens when it comes his mind.
By Mr. Z (6396), North Sea on Sep 8, 11 5:49 PM
That is such a stupid comment. Without the "summer" people, there would be no economy in any of the Hamptons. And we certainly aren't the ones who are arrested for drunkenness and robberies.
By AFB (29), NYC/SH on Sep 10, 11 7:30 PM
Have you ever gone to Park Avenue and just sat in the middle of the street while reading a map? or changed your baby's shoes in the middile of a street on a corner where cars just may be traveling on at 30 miles per hour and then give the car your middle finger because it needed to drive on the street where you were daudling and didn't want to get off the street? or put your left turn signal on and made a right turn from the far left lane? how about just stop in the middle of the street period... ...more
By Apples (2), East Hampton on Sep 13, 11 5:08 AM
2 members liked this comment
UGH!! Citidiots

By just breath (82), yuck on Sep 5, 11 3:39 PM
If you read the article it says the arrested person is from Southampton not the city.
By Alexis (2), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 2:50 PM
Sounds like a rockn good time to me!!!
By MsRainbow (19), Southampton on Sep 5, 11 4:15 PM
How are details still sketchy about a fight in the village involving 300 people? That would make it the largest incident of civil disobedience in the 400+ year history of the village no? If someone skips a step in this town we all know about it...don't withhold the information, just let everyone know who rented the place and who was at the facility that night?
Sep 6, 11 7:32 PM appended by kaluss45
does the owner of 230 elm have connections that would allow them to skirt the permit process and other regulations?
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 5, 11 7:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
LOLOL, I can't stop laughing!! You are so right!!! I smell a cover-up in the works.
By Latenighter (9), Southampton on Sep 5, 11 8:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are 100% on the money, Kaluss45.

"Sketchy" details....indeed!
By elliot (203), sag harbor on Sep 5, 11 10:22 PM
Fair point. We updated the story to explain why details were sketchy early on. We will have more to report by deadline--stay tuned.
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (174), Hampton Bays on Sep 6, 11 10:37 AM
2 members liked this comment
Public records show the property is owned by the Polish Political Club since 2006 .
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Sep 6, 11 3:36 PM
I never thought that place would last...they are going to meet the fate of so many of these places...later...
By V.Tomanoku (599), southampton on Sep 5, 11 7:57 PM
Next time, bolt the doors from the outside, and video tape the entire event from the get go. One assumes that Mr.Burke has video surveillance installed (and operational)?

Let the gladiators fight it out! If the club does not require each entrant to sign waivers for the above, perhaps this is the time to do so?

Halloween is coming up.

Nightmare on Elm Street?
By PBR (4366), Southampton on Sep 5, 11 8:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
I used to love those at the Hansom House.
By Mr. Z (6396), North Sea on Sep 6, 11 6:07 PM
The Hansom was next door in what was later, "Madame Tong's"
By elliot (203), sag harbor on Sep 7, 11 12:30 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mr. Z (6396), North Sea on Sep 8, 11 5:43 PM
"No crap." , perhaps?
By Mr. Z (6396), North Sea on Sep 10, 11 8:04 PM
230 Elm.......
We're takin' about that low-rent, basement bar under the Polish Hall, right?
By elliot (203), sag harbor on Sep 5, 11 10:26 PM
You must not have been down there lately.

I saw it on fourth of july when Tim Burke had the firefighters & their family's in for Hot Dogs. It was very tastefully decorated.
By Draggerman (175), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 2:58 PM
Ha ha, Oh the place that the village over looked as they renovated without a building permit? The place is a joke the old Polish Hall now a night club? How does someone loan out there liquor license to these promoters for events? This village is too busy walking the streets giving parking tickets, and not watching this mess. If anyone got hurt they should sue the village they were well aware of this, and turned a blind eye to it.
By chief1 (1372), southampton on Sep 5, 11 10:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By They call me (1078), southampton on Sep 6, 11 6:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
Couldn't have said it better myself.
By Spelling Cop (20), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 6:22 AM
Sounds like an advertisement for the tea party.

"post your irrational rantings here"
By philathome (9212), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 6:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
There's a brawl at a bar and YOU blame the Democrats in office.

Jeez!!! How far afield from reality can you possibly get?
By elliot (203), sag harbor on Sep 6, 11 9:40 AM
Mr. Burke is Tim Bishops brother in law...jussst sayin'
By Alexis (2), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 2:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
Guess they forgot about disarming Brooklyn. Yeah I'm hoping Perry is still Gov. in, 2012,13, 14. Look at the mess this country has become the last time Texas swept it's ???? to DC. Save the Obama rhetoric. I voted for none of the winners or losers in the past twelve years.
By coyote (14), southampton on Sep 6, 11 9:58 AM
My comment was dead on topic, Seems we have someone at the editors desk today that does not like obamas new NBC poll numbers, LOL can I please have a review of my last comment . TY
By They call me (1078), southampton on Sep 6, 11 12:02 PM
I don't trust any candidate who wears cufflinks and cowboy boots.
By harbor (102), East Hampton on Sep 6, 11 12:50 PM
2 members liked this comment
Review all posts from last two years.

No matter what the news article: be it the weather, fishing, local BBQ's or a church bake sale, the TROLLS just cannot wait to promote their off-topic, political agendas.

It happens every single time on 27East. It's getting sooooo old already!
By elliot (203), sag harbor on Sep 6, 11 1:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
The 130k a year patrolman couldn't stop the fight? What about the 250k a year chief? He didn't learn crowd control at one of those village paid for FBI camps? Abolish the village dept get the state police here who are better trained, and more experienced in this type of situation. The village police did nothing all summer and were warned about what was going on at 230 Main. At least the mayor made no parking on Elm St., and tried to help.
They are payed to protect the village not promote activities ...more
By chief1 (1372), southampton on Sep 6, 11 3:14 PM
Article updated.

Mr. Burke was ticketed for noise violations.

"Many Rivers to Cross" on this incident IMO.
By PBR (4366), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 3:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
The 130k a year patrolman couldn't stop the fight? What about the 250k a year chief? He didn't learn crowd control at one of those village paid for FBI camps? Abolish the village dept get the state police here who are better trained, and more experienced in this type of situation. The village police did nothing all summer and were warned about what was going on at 230 Main. At least the mayor made no parking on Elm St., and tried to help.
They are payed to protect the village not promote activities ...more
By chief1 (1372), southampton on Sep 6, 11 3:52 PM
They call me is right . Call in the state police and shut these clubs down. Its just like "Dream" these places are bringing the character of the neighbor HOOD down. more people are going to be killed. It has to stop!
By 27dan (1033), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 4:16 PM
1 member liked this comment

230 Elm is not a club...its a catering hall that was rented for a party, a party that got out of hand. People have weddings there, fund raisers, birthday celebrations without incident. So lets not be so quick to brand the place as a trouble spot.
By pstevens (399), Wilmington on Sep 6, 11 4:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
Actually 230 Elm was used as a club for the summer just like 75 Main turns into a club after hours!
By bonac79 (15), East Hampton on Sep 7, 11 10:21 AM
The "club" never got off the ground...they had a big memorial day weekend and then it fizzled out...
By localyokel (9), Southampton on Sep 16, 11 7:50 AM
You're correct pstevens, I attended a friend's birthday party there last Wednesday evening, a friend had his daughter's wedding there this summer too. You can't blame a catering hall for the conduct of those who rent it, but there's no excuse for a riot!
By bigfresh (1253), north sea on Sep 6, 11 4:40 PM
No it isnt...but was it a riot? Or is the headline overstating what happend. There were a lot of people there and some of those people behaved badley....I doubt it was a massive brawl more like people trying to get out of harms way. If it was massive brawl, why has only one person been arrested? Do you really think there will be any more arrests? I doubt it. No cover up just a fight at a party that has been hyped up to generate clicks and comments.
By pstevens (399), Wilmington on Sep 6, 11 7:47 PM
"Many Rivers to Cross" IMO.

This event does not appear to have been a family wedding or birthday party, etc..

What WAS this event? Does any of us know for sure?

Are there any URL links to announce the event?

Will the Press report the details?

What is the permissible use of this facility for functions like this?

What does the Village's Certificate of Occupancy say about the permitted use here, and what is the date of its issuance?

Were ...more
By PBR (4366), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 10:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
It was party there was no url announcing the event, there was a facebook evite, and I think a printed flyer. At anyrate, the person or persons who gave the party paid for the venue. No one cared about the place until the press made such a big deal about this so called brawl. Prior to this incident it was a catering hall, now suddenly there is something shady about the place. The only thing that is going to happen at this point is that the owners of the establishment are going to be a lot more selective ...more
By pstevens (399), Wilmington on Sep 7, 11 12:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By 27dan (1033), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 5:47 PM
PS -- According to the article, the only person arrested was 20 years of age, and the charges appear not to include underage consumption of alcohol?

Are we missing something here?
By PBR (4366), Southampton on Sep 6, 11 11:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
ummmm perhaps he hadnt consumed any alcohol....just a thought.
By pstevens (399), Wilmington on Sep 7, 11 12:33 AM
Wow...the only person here that knows what they are talking about is pstevens. A fight broke out at a party...it happens...police arrive on the scene to break it up...people are told to leave and they do...as the party goers were walking down the stairs the police open fire with pepper spray...what a mess! Women go screaming back into the building because they are blinded and in pain. If you ask me this is one time that the police caused more harm than good.
By localyokel (9), Southampton on Sep 7, 11 6:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
YOU ARE SO RIGHT WHEN LEFT AROUND 2:30 IN THE MORING THEY HAD ALREADY SHUT DOWN THE PARTY DOWN STAIRS BUT THE COPS HAD ALREADY BLOCKED OF THE ROADS AND IT WAS QUITE OUTSIDE SO WHY DID THIS HAPPEN I WAS SHOCK TO HERE THAT ALL THIS BU@@sh## HAPPEN!!!!! WHAT A JOKE!!!
By sunrise (2), bridgehampton on Sep 7, 11 7:42 PM
Irresponsible HEADLINE
By EastEnd68 (841), Westhampton on Sep 7, 11 7:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
The original story reported than many neighboring police were called in to help with crowd control. The old Southampton cops in Flanders were good at this having practice every Friday night at Lena's (for those that might remember the frequent mini-riots).
Anyhow where are the details?
like: who was hurt? Surely someone was.
How many people were involved in the actual brawl?
Who was pepper sprayed and why?
Who was pushed down the stairs?
What departments actually responded? ...more
By DetailsPlease (3), SH on Sep 7, 11 11:01 AM
OK so i eat my words.
no sooner than i posted my first comment - you post a big story with details. Bravo! off to read it ...
By DetailsPlease (3), SH on Sep 7, 11 11:03 AM
The stink and allegations of this incident, both genuine and fabricated, are going to be with with us for quite some time.
By elliot (203), sag harbor on Sep 7, 11 12:33 PM
would it be accurate to say that details remain sketchy. sounds like a non issue anyway.
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 8, 11 7:17 AM
The actual event may turn out to be a "non issue" but the cost of the police response is a significant issue to be determined ("TBD").

Was the PD response an over-reaction to a "non issue?" Perhaps.

But there may be more "TBD" issues TBD, and it would be helpful if all video recordings of this event are made public (see comment below).
By PBR (4366), Southampton on Sep 8, 11 7:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sounds like the crowd was attempting to disperse, when the police arrived and in all of the chaos and confusion, the police may have been a little over zealous in their attempt to get control of the situation. This is sounding less and less like a riot and more like law enforcement needs a refresher course on crowd control. Pepper spraying people who were trying to leave? They couldn’t tell the difference between people fleeing and people fighting? Hmmmm brace yourselves for the lawsuits...
By pstevens (399), Wilmington on Sep 8, 11 1:17 PM
3 members liked this comment
Were there any video recordings made of this, especially by the SH Village police?

Any YouTube postings?

The proof is in the pudding, and it would be unusual in this day and age, in my opinion, if there is no video of this incident.

Does Mr. Burke have in-house surveillance video?

Has the SH Village PD requested it, and obtained it?

Has the Press filed a FOIL request with SH Village to obtain any such video?

"Many Rivers to Cross" IMO.
By PBR (4366), Southampton on Sep 8, 11 5:27 PM
Excellent point, PBR.
By gonzorip (3), Southampton, New York on Sep 8, 11 7:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
SO, just what did this "riot" protest?

Sounds more like a brawl to me.
By Mr. Z (6396), North Sea on Sep 8, 11 5:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
It was not a massive brawl, I was there one guy shove another , the Police was out there all night n this female cop sprayed people who was simply walking out, she needs to be reported they already had the culpit in handcuffs so there was no need, Why is it when certain people rent the place there is a false story spread?
By sharic (1), Southampton on Sep 9, 11 9:23 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Save the East End (1), Water Mill on Apr 16, 12 3:15 PM
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