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Man Arrested After Allegedly Chasing Another With Knife in Fight That Injured Several People at Tropicana

Police Say They Are Investigating Whether Anyone Was Stabbed in Large Incident That Erupted in Troublesome Bar & Restaurant
Tropicana
The Tropicana Bar & Restaurant has been criticized by neighbors for being too rowdy at their annual liquor license hearings. Bing Maps

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At 10:20pm last night, New Brunswick police officers responded to the Tropicana Restaurant & Bar on Georges Road, after an officer called for assistance in responding to a "large fight and possible stabbing."

According to a police press release, they arrived to find several people injured by others who were hit with broken glass bottles and one man chasing another with a knife in the parking lot.

The establishment has come under fire in recent years as nearby residents in the Second Ward have consistently opposed the lifting of restrictions on the business, after repeated incidents of violence and other quality of life issues.

It is one of at least two bars in the neighborhood that the Second Ward Neighborhood Block Club and Crime Watch has set their sights on.

According to public documents,  police say that "crowds loiter in the area" and that the crowds "tend to be disorderly, adversely affecting the quality of life surrounding the establishment."

The Tropicana has conditions on its license where it is required to hire a New Brunswick police officer Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 10:00pm to 2:00 am.  It appears that officer called for backup early into his shift last night.

City police arrested 34-year-old city resident Carmelo Datt-Torres, who authorities say was "chasing another individual through the parking lot... carrying a knife and waving it in the direction of the individual he was pursuing."

"Officers were able to apprehend Mr. Datt-Torres without incident and recover the knife he possessed," reads the statement released by New Brunswick Police Department.

The establishment has come under fire in recent years as nearby residents in the Second Ward have consistently opposed the lifting of restrictions on the business, after repeated incidents of violence and other quality of life issues.

Police charged Datt-Torres with Terroristic Threats, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Possession of Cocaine.

"New Brunswick police detectives are still investigating if Mr. Datt-Torres actually stabbed anyone with the knife he possessed."

"Restaurant employees confirmed that a large fight between multiple patrons broke out and several glass bottles were thrown causing lacerations to multiple patrons."

No one was able to identify any of the individuals who threw the bottles, according to police.

Some of the injuries were treated by EMS on scene while others were transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for further treatment.

The statement did not say how many people were injured in the melee.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Detective Dave Smith at (732) 745-5200.