Brawl at the Forum

B y Jaime Thomas

A brawl involving 50-75 people erupted at the Forum Restaurant early Sunday morning following a St. Patrick’s Day event the bar was hosting.

At 3:25 a.m., Granville police responded to a call about a large disturbance at the Forum and were surprised to find 50 to 75 people fighting outside in the parking lot, Sergeant Dave Williams said.

“There were two groups of 20 on 20, but there was more shoving than actual fist-fighting,” Williams said. Bar staff had managed to get the group outside, and two males were being held back from each other surrounded by dozens of onlookers when police arrived.

Initially, Williams and one other officer were on scene alone for 10 to 15 minutes before backup, including three cars from the state police and two from Washington County Sheriff’s Office, arrived.

Williams said police were trying to disperse the crowd and get everyone to leave, but it was not an easy task. Police would stop one scuffle and put someone in their patrol car, and as they were dealing with another fight they would find the same person out of the car and in the thick of things again.

Arguments continued to break out on different sides of the parking lot, so rather than making arrests police tried to make sure everyone had a sober driver and send them home.

“We were trying to get them dispersed; there was not enough manpower on our side,” Williams said. Police told everyone the bar was closed, but inside the bar they had to deal with more unruly subjects. Before they arrived, someone had hit another person with a glass bottle. Williams said the inside of the bar was devastated, and broken glass was everywhere.

This is not the first time the show, featuring Rod Dukes and DJ Willow, has caused problems locally and elsewhere.

Undersheriff John Winchell said the two have had similar incidents previously in Granville and in Glens Falls. Large fights involving 50 to 100 people seem to follow their shows, he said. Factions from such areas as Troy and Rutland follow the different artists and then get into arguments with each other.

Winchell said the sheriffs anticipated problems when the Forum began holding these events and tried to discourage them, but the bar continued to host them.

Because the Forum is a private business and Granville has no nuisance law, they can legally hold the show. Granville police have asked the Forum to notify them when these particular entertainers are in town so they can have more backup, but the owners did not do so last weekend.

As full backup arrived from outside sources, police were eventually able to fully disperse the crowd after about 35 minutes, Williams said.

Calls made to the owners of the Forum were not returned as of Tuesday afternoon.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Classifieds 01/28/14

Whitehall Marina, RV Park sold to new owners

DSC_0550

By Dan King The Whitehall Marina, restaurant and RV park have new owners. Bill Brina, owner of Dagon Enterprises, said […]

Culligan still wants to coach

Justin Culligan

By Dan King Despite being terminated as the varsity football coach, Justin Culligan still wants to coach in Whitehall. Culligan […]

Whitehall Winterfest on ice

Winterfest III

By Dan King One of Whitehall’s favorite annual events will be on hiatus this year – the Whitehall Winterfest, which […]

Community Heroin discussion at SUNY ADK

Residents of Warren and Washington Counties are invited to learn how heroin affects everyone in the community and discuss ways […]

Petitions available to run for village office

Potential candidates interested in running for public office have until Feb. 10 to submit their name for this March’s village […]

Cop: School district ‘as safe as can be’

By Dan King Despite some parents’ concerns, a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy says Whitehall Central School is “as safe as […]

DeLorme’s 199 paces rifle club

Young Joe DeLorme has a career night, shooting a near perfect 199, including a 50 in the difficult standing position. […]

Cheerleaders to perform in competition

The Whitehall varsity cheerleaders will be performing in a cheer competition this weekend. Competition will begin at 10 a.m. on […]

Mayor LaRose to seek reelection

By Derek Liebig Granville Mayor Brian LaRose confirmed last week he will seek a second term in office, saying there […]

Rotary trivia night this weekend

The community’s brightest minds will compete Saturday to determine who has the greatest knowledge of trivia. The Granville Rotary Club […]

Girls’ upended at Hadley-Luzerne

Hadley-Luzerne (1-10, 2-11) cemented its first league win of the season, downing the Whitehall girls’ basketball team 49-27 last Friday. […]