St. Paul police called to a fight on Monday night found more than 100 people involved and a large number of officers had to respond to break it up.
At about 7:45 p.m. officers responded to reports of a fight outside the Arcade-Phalen American Legion Post 577.
“It was very chaotic to the point where officers were asking for more officers to respond so they could safely intervene in the aggressive crowd that was actively fighting,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul police spokesman.
Community members had asked to use the Legion hall for a celebration of life for a woman who died recently, and the incident started with a disagreement inside.
In addition to Eastern District officers, police responded from the city’s other two patrol districts to assist, and they paired up for safety.
Witnesses reported that some of those fighting had guns on them, but police saw no weapons, Ernster said.
Officers witnessed a small group assaulting a man on the ground and sprayed a chemical irritant to disperse them, Ernster said.
No one was arrested. No one reported injuries at the scene.
Greg Spiess, Legion bar hall manager, said the memorial event went smoothly until the end when, he was told, a couple of men started arguing near the bar. They were told to leave and police were called.
“We’re here for the community,” Spiess said of the Legion, who added that they rarely have problems.