Police Break Up Large Fight Involving 600 People In South Norwalk

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Police from several neighboring communities were called in to help break up a fight in South Norwalk early Saturday morning.
Police from several neighboring communities were called in to help break up a fight in South Norwalk early Saturday morning. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- Police from several surrounding communities were called to help break up a fight in South Norwalk involving about 600 people early Saturday, Norwalk police said Monday morning.

The fight began shortly before 2 a.m. in the La Torch nightclub, according to police. Club security tried to break up the fight by spraying pepper spray, which caused the large crowd to spill out into the nearby Webster Street parking lot, police said.

Norwalk officers responded to the area and found about 600 people in the parking lot, police said. Many smaller fights started to break out among the crowd, and Norwalk police were forced to call in mutual aid from other departments.

Additional officers from Stamford, Darien, Westport, Wilton, Metro-North and the State Police all arrived at the scene to help disperse the crowd and stop the fighting, police said.

The only two people arrested in the incident were Stanley Bruno, 29, of Danbury, and Christopher Bautista, 26, of Stamford.

Bruno was charged with second-degree breach of peace, second-degree assault, assault on a peace officer, reckless driving and interfering with an officer. He was held on $300,000 bond and will appear in court Aug. 18.

Bautista was charged with possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana and interfering with an officer. He was held on $15,000 bond and will appear in court Aug. 18.

While officers were trying to calm the crowd, a silver pickup truck was trying to leave the parking lot, police said. Bruno was driving the pickup truck, and Bautista was a passenger, police said. An officer tried to stop the truck, but it accelerated quickly and nearly struck the officer, police said. 

The truck was eventually stopped, and police said the two were uncooperative with officers. Bruno was removed from the truck and became aggressive with officers, hitting one, police said. He was eventually Tasered and arrested, police said.

Bautista threw something on the floor of the truck, which was later revealed to be marijuana, police said. He was taken into custody.

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Fight involving 600 people & only 2 arrests? Likely story. The police are terrorists. They don't know how to talk to people. How do you expect to get respect if you don't give it? Nobody is scared of these cowards hiding behind badges. Some are not bad,just there to protect & serve. The rest,cold blooded cowards!

It seems the NPD is attempting spinning the numbers involved. This is due to them not being able to handle an incident that involved hundreds less than they state. The answer is simple the NPD needs to be replaced from the top down. They are a complete and total failure.

It does strain belief that nobody was arrested in all of this. And why is club security using pepper spray for crowd control? Isn't that assault if not used in self-defense (or policing)?

I would think twice about going to the Oyster Festival this year!! Who knows what could happen!

Yes, something not right about this story. I can't believe any of the bars in SoNo can fit more than 100 people.

On top of that I heard cops driving up and down Fairfield Avenue earlier that evening around 11 PM or so. Speeding, some with sirens some without...if nothing was happening then, what were they doing? Playing around?

When the Chief's away...they will play.

I would say if anyone has a issue with "crying wolf" in this City it's the police and media...This is about the 10th time in the last 3 or 4 years we heard of some large brawl or melee where no one was arrested for being involved in the brawl or melee.

I bet what really happened is these officers had no excuse for why there were two stabbings within a very close proximity to the police station and the perps got away...they needed an excuse for the reason everyone was slacking on the job so they fabricated this incident. What is capacity at La Torche, can it even fit 500 or 600 people?

I heard 300, 500, and 600. No pics of people in these brawls...