Middletown wedding brawl leads to arrests; event shut down by police

A brawl involving more than 300 people at

A brawl involving more than 300 people at a wedding forced police to shut down the reception early and make arrests.

MIDDLETOWN - A brawl involving more than 300 people at a wedding forced police to shut down the reception early and make arrests.

Neighbors say guests were screaming, pushing and urinating outside Jacques Reception Center on Palmer Avenue in Middletown on Sunday night after a fistfight broke out inside.

"Screaming and cursing like you wouldn't imagine would be coming from a wedding," says Jace Sigelkow. "Weddings are supposed to be a nice classy-type gathering, and this wasn't."

Middletown police say they shut down the wedding an hour early when the crowd got violent and would not disperse. "It started out small, but then over 80 people got involved in the fight.  It actually swelled into the parking lot," says Det. Lt. Stephen Dollinger. "It continued to become more and more aggressive."

Police says they are hired regularly to work security there while off duty, and two of them were there that night. They called for backup at around 10:30 p.m. Holmdel, Keansburg and Hazlet police departments assisted.

"Tempers flare and minor disputes become major ones," says Dollinger. "And with that many people drinking and involved, sometimes it gets out of control."

Police arrested a woman from Haledon for disorderly conduct and a man from Oceanside, New York for obstruction and disorderly conduct.  

Officers say they decided to disperse the crowd instead of trying to arrest everybody involved. 

Neighbors believe the catering hall also appeared to be over capacity, since there was inadequate parking available for guests in the two lots.  

Jacques Reception Center has not returned calls from News 12 New Jersey.

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