THREE STABBED IN EARLY MORNING FRACAS
Updated 5:23 p.m. Sunday, July 12
Three men were stabbed in what police described as a melee that erupted in a Park Street restaurant early this morning. Police have two suspects in custody at the city jail.
The stabbing victims were taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for their wounds, and police said one of them, a 24-year-old Oakland resident who was stabbed in the chest, was stable after emergency surgery there. Two others, a 22-year-old Hayward man and a 25-year-old Alameda man, were treated for wounds that Alameda Police Lt. Paul Rolleri said were not life-threatening.
A fourth victim, a 24-year-old Alameda man, was hit over the head with a bottle. Rolleri said he drove himself to the hospital for treatment.
The two 21-year-old suspects in the stabbings, whose names and cities of residence have not yet been released, were also injured, Rolleri said. The pair are being held in the Alameda City Jail on $30,000 and $31,500 bail (the second suspect was also charged with public intoxication) and are expected to go to court tomorrow to face assault with a deadly weapon charges.
Rolleri said police were called at 2:37 a.m. today to La Pinata restaurant on Park Street. He said the suspects and the victims got into an argument that erupted into a melee that saw chairs and tables overturned and customers in the packed restuarant fleeing for the exits.
Rolleri said the suspects and the victims did not appear to know each other, and he said he didn’t yet know what had precipitated the argument.
The fight followed Alameda’s annual Park Street Pub Crawl, an informal event that Rolleri said is usually held the first Saturday after July 4. Rolleri couldn’t yet say whether the suspects or the victims had participated in the event, though he said he thinks many of the restaurant’s patrons likely had.
The restaurant was cleaned up and open for business when a reporter went by this afternoon.
“We used to have tons of fights and lots of arrests,” Rolleri said of the event, which he estimates has been going on for 25 years. But he said that while the department typically has extra staffing on the night of the event, the number of problems had waned in recent years, though he said police have made arrests around the event every year it has been held.
“It’s definitely a concern,” said Rolleri, who said similar events happen in other cities. “Any time you have an event where the sole purpose is to drink – it’s bad chemistry there.”
He said some places shut down in order to avoid the crowds that night, while others charge a high cover to keep out crawl participants, whose mission is to have a drink in every bar on Park Street. He said the event originally was attended by 30 to 50 people, but he estimated that several hundred were out Sunday night.
But he said police can’t stop the event because it is not sponsored by anyone. He said police send letters to local bars in advance of the event to let them know it’s happening and to remind them of their legal responsibilities that night.
“It’ll happen again next year,” Rolleri said.