SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Four officers were hospitalized early Saturday morning after responding to a fight in downtown Springfield.
The incident comes just after the curfew was lifted on bars and clubs — and the mayor is not having it.
“I’m not gonna tolerate it,” says Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. “Not gonna tolerate it.”
The fight broke out at Fat Cat Bar around 2:00 a.m. Saturday, forcing 20 officers to respond the scene.
Police say close to 60 people were involved in the melee.
“I don’t know where respect has gone in society right now,” says Sarno.
What started as two separate arguments inside the bar escalated into a huge street fight.
Nine people were taken into custody.
A female officer sustained a concussion, another officer broke a finger and another sprained an ankle.
“I can see it if they’re going after armed robbers, pocketbook snatchers, saving a kid from a burning building — that’s understandable, that happens,” says Sgt. John Delaney. “But responding to a bar to a bunch of drunks…. police officers shouldn’t go home hurt.”
It’s events like these Sarno says he’s trying to prevent with his proposed 1 a.m. entertainment curfew. Right now, Fat Cat is allowed to stay open until 2 a.m. because they serve food.
Ironically, representatives for the bar were supposed to appear in front of the city’s license commission on Thursday because of a past violation. Sarno says they failed to appear because their attorney wasn’t available.
“When people see this they say, ‘Oh my god, I don’t want to go to the city of Springfield,’” says Sarno. “And there are plenty of good things happening in the city.”
Sarno adds, “We’re moving the city forward. Every time something good happens, I’m going to champion it. But every time something bad happens, we’re not going to run and hide, we’re going to hit you head on.”
Sgt. John Delaney says the injured officers have since been released from the hospital. Now police are putting plans in place for the rest of the weekend.
“We’re going to have extra security down here at night,” says Delaney.
As for other businesses in Springfield, the mayor has a stern message:
“One proper establishment, you’re not going to have a problem,” says Sarno. “If you don’t, you’re going to face the full wrath of my license commission and my entertainment hearing.”
As far as penalties for Fat Cat, Sarno says they could see anything from an extra security requirement to a complete revocation of their entertainment license.