Three charged after fight involving nearly 100 people at Taj India

February 13, 2012|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Taj India, at 28 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown, was the scene of a fight involving nearly 100 people early Sunday.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Police Department sent every officer who was on duty early Sunday to a fight that involved nearly 100 people at a popular downtown restaurant, Police Chief Arthur Smith said Monday.

Smith said all 13 police units responded to break up the melee at the Taj India restaurant at 28 S. Potomac St.

“It looks like the officers got there and they were trying to clear it out before it got worse,” Smith said. “They had to pepper spray at least one guy.”

Smith said two Hagerstown women and a Frederick, Md., man were charged with failing to comply with police.

Fareed Kasim Jackson, 29, of 7124 Ladd Circle in Frederick, and Reashawnda Cambell, 23, of 972 Security Road, were charged with one count each of resisting arrest, failure to obey a lawful order and disorderly conduct, according to court documents.

Ellesse Frazier, 23, of 100 Buena Vista Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

Smith said he referred the matter to the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, known as the liquor board.

He said Taj India has had a few similar incidents in the last several weeks.

“Apparently, they’re getting a large crowd and there’s no security,” Smith said.

Robert Everhart, liquor board chairman, said Monday that he was given a copy of the police report.

He said the three-member liquor board typically gives licensees a 30-day notice to appear before the board in such cases, but they might expedite the case with Taj India because so many people were involved in the fight.

Officers responded to Taj India at 1:32 a.m. and found about 90 patrons involved in an altercation in the middle of the restaurant, according to the statement of probable cause obtained Monday from Washington County District Court.

Employees were trying to push people out the front door, police wrote in court documents.

Additional units were called when the first officers to arrive at the scene saw the size of the crowd, the documents said.

Documents allege Jackson resisted police as they tried to get people to leave the building. Officers tried to handcuff Jackson, but he pulled away and laid on his hands when police took him to the ground, the documents say. Police pepper sprayed Jackson and took him into custody, according to the documents.

Cambell was charged when she resisted arrest after refusing to leave the area, the documents allege.

Details about Frazier’s arrest were not included in the documents.

No one answered the phone at Taj India on Monday afternoon when a call was made seeking comment for this story.

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