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Carlstadt police arrest six in brawls that severely injure Teaneck cop, others outside sports bar

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

EXCLUSIVE: Carlstadt police arrested six men this morning in connection with a pair of brawls outside a local sports bar that seriously injured several people, including an off-duty Teaneck police officer who suffered two fractured eye sockets, a broken nose and a dislocated jaw.

All but one of their targets “were still asleep in their beds” when police began knocking on doors around 7 a.m., Detective John Cleary told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.

The sixth surrendered at headquarters after his mother called him at work and put police on the phone, the detective said.

All were being held in the Bergen County Jail on bails ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

The first incident, before dawn on Feb. 15, began with eight or 10 patrons throwing snowballs at one another as they left Kilroy’s Sports Bar.

Soon, they were targeting passing vehicles on Washington Avenue — and, then, other patrons walking to their cars, Cleary said.

“One of them didn’t like it, so he drove into the parking lot and confronted the group,” the detective said.

Surveillance video shows 21-year-old Martin Vila of Rutherford assaulting the driver, who throws his car into reverse with Vila hanging on, Cleary said.

Vila falls off and the driver speeds away, he said.

A large group then converges to see what was happening, inadvertently blocking other patrons from pulling out, Cleary said.

“As one car is waiting to go into traffic, one of Vila’s friends jumps on the hood and begins yelling,” the detective said.

The driver gets out and confronts Vila — and sustains a broken ankle in the resulting fight that later requires extensive surgery, he said.

Meanwhile, Vila’s friends pull out the off-duty Teaneck officer from the passenger seat and beat him, Cleary said.

Both of the officer’s eye sockets were fractured, his nose was broken and his jaw dislocated, the detective said, adding that he also needed more than a dozen stitches.

Vila, who was at work when detectives showed up at his parents’ house today, was being held on $25,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with aggravated assault.

Also held on $25,000 bail each were his friends, David Milne and Andres Escobar, both 22 and also of Rutherford. They, too, were charged with aggravated assault.

Six nights later, another fight erupted outside the same bar.

This time, three patrons leaving around closing time were confronted by three Lyndhurst men who’d been tossed out for fighting earlier that night, Cleary said.

One of the victims was knocked unconscious, he said.

Another had a fractured eye socket and a nose broken so badly that he required reconstructive surgery, the detective said.

After reviewing video and interviewing witnesses from both nights, Cleary and Detective Sgt. Dave Smith coordinated this morning’s roundup.

“We had a lot of help from the Lyndhurst and Rutherford police departments,” Cleary told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Being held on $25,0000 bail in connection with the second incident was Shaun Cosenza, 19, of Lyndhurst. He was charged with aggravated assault and endangering an injured person.

Also arrested were Jose Tejada and Elvis Rapozo, both 22 from Lyndhurst. They were charged with simple assault and improper behavior and ordered held on $5,000 bail each.

TOP: Andres Escobar, Shaun Cosenza, David Milne
BOTTOM: Martin Vila, Elvis Rapozo, Jose Tejada


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