Cinco de Mayo Celebration Turns Ugly

By James Gardner
|  Thursday, May 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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Cinco de Mayo Celebration Erupts in Brawl; 100-Plus Involved, Cops Say

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A Cinco de Mayo party goes awry.

It was a celebration that turned bad -- and then worse.

A Cinco de Mayo party at the Pancho Villa restaurant in Huntington, Long Island, erupted in a brawl of 100 people after smaller fights between several groups throughout the evening. 

The spats grew from late Wednesday through early Thursday until a melee broke out on the street around 1 a.m. Suffolk County Police said. Police called for backup, and around 20 Suffolk police cars shut down the intersection of Main Street and New York Ave, according to Newsday.

The melee continued until one reveler stabbed another. Wesley Erickson, 26, of  Huntington and Ryan DiPaolo started exchanging words. Then Erickson allegedly stabbed DiPaolo and fled the scene, according to Suffolk County police. He was soon caught and is scheduled for an arraignment today on charges of second-degree assault and resisting arrest.

DiPaolo's injuries were not life threatening. He has been released from a nearby hospital, police said.

Another partygoer was arrested for allegedly punching a police officer during the melee. Police say Matia Branch, 24, of Melville, is charged with second-degree harrasment and resisting arrest.

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