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Hoboken police officer injured in large brawl outside bar, mayor says

HOBOKEN, N.J. — A police officer was injured in a large brawl outside a bar in Hoboken on Saturday, Mayor Ravinder Bhalla said.Three people were arrested and an officer suffered a minor back injury during the fight outside Hudson Ultra Bar, according to Police Chief Ken Ferrante.

Investigators are working to determine if the fight began inside the bar and spilled into the street, Ferrante said.

Hoboken has been cracking down on bars that overserve customers, particularly during “con” bar crawl events. During these events, people travel to multiple bars on foot or via public transportation. These “cons” can often become rowdy.

“There’s actually been a trend unfortunately where bar owners are soliciting younger people to pub crawls where people come in at cheap rates,” Bhalla told PIX11 News. “People are, at some bars, overserved which leads to disorderly behavior street fights even officers being assaulted.”

Seventeen people were arrested during the Hoboken SantaCon bar crawl in December. Most of the arrests were for assault and disorderly conduct. A 22-year-old woman, who was arrested after being involved in a fight, also punched an officer in the face.

On Friday, Hoboken’s Alcohol and Beverage Control Board suspended five bars and banned them from participating in this year’s LepreCon, the city’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl set to take place on March 3.

But, Bhalla said, this kind of disorderly conduct happens year-round in the city.

“We will charge not just the persons involved, but the bars that overserve and can’t keep their patrons under control as legally required,” he said.

For LepreCon, Ferrante told PIX11 News, “there will be upwards of 250 officers working throughout the city. We will have zero tolerance for urination in public drinking in public, disorderly behavior. We will have officers everywhere ready to arrest people who are fighting.”