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Boat Owner Downplays Fight Reported Aboard Island Belle In Norwalk Harbor

A fight was reported on-board the Island Belle in Norwalk Harbor early Sunday morning, though the owner said that it was quickly broken up.
A fight was reported on-board the Island Belle in Norwalk Harbor early Sunday morning, though the owner said that it was quickly broken up. Photo Credit: Daily Voice file photo

NORWALK, Conn. -- A fight broke out on the Island Belle early Sunday, according to police, although the owner of the boat called the incident a "non-event."

At about 4 a.m. Sunday, officers were parked at the boat launch when they received a report from headquarters that a large fight had broken out on the vessel, police said.

Officers said they could see a large fight on the lower deck, and could hear yelling and screaming. As passengers departed the boat, they were seen carrying beer bottles, according to police reports.

Small fights broke out in the parking lot, and officers were dispatched to break up the skirmishes, police said. Some people appeared to be injured but declined medical attention, according to police reports.

Officers tried to talk to passengers about what had caused the fight, but nobody was cooperative, according to police reports. After everyone had cleared the area, officers boarded the boat and observed damage, including broken glass bottles and overturned furniture, police said.

The boat's owner, Ken Hart, was not on the boat at the time of the incident but said he had been there earlier and returned after the fight. About 200 people were on-board, as well as 11 staff members, including five security personnel, he said.

The incident started with an argument between two girls at a birthday party, Hart said. Two girls and their boyfriends started fighting, but staff and other guests quickly broke it up, he said. During the fight someone called 911, he said.

"The whole altercation was addressed and over before the boat reached the dock," Hart said.

The two girls began arguing again in the parking lot after the boat docked but went their separate ways, Hart said. He said police officers did not approach the boat until after all the passengers had dispersed. He said the noise police heard as the boat was pulling in was the noise of people partying on the boat.

The Island Belle has been in operation since 2011. "We've hosted between 70 and 80 events and we've never had a problem," Hart said.

Police said the incident is still under investigation by the Marine Unit.

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