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By John Intini
Alleged weapon assaults with pepper spray and a baseball bat shook up a party at a popular London bar this past weekend, interfering with Delaware Hall's largest pub night of the year.
Police were called to Shaker's, a nightclub at 1165 Oxford St. E., just before 1 a.m. Sunday in response to an alleged bar room brawl.
Const. Tracey Frizzell of the London police said multiple charges have been laid as a result of an altercation between patrons and bar employees.
The incident began when two employees confronted a male patron on the dance floor, asking him to put his shirt back on. The patron was escorted from the bar but was joined by two or three friends in the parking lot.
Police said pepper spray was administered by bouncer Walter Stemberg, 33 and bartender Michael Prevost, 26, wielded a baseball bat in what was described as a threatening manner.
Once the fight moved outside, the front door of the bar was kicked in, shattering glass over Prevost, who grabbed a baseball bat from behind the bar and chased after the patrons into the parking lot, said Shaker's promotions manager Steve Ballah.
Eight people suffered pepper spray related injuries, while one male required stitches over one of his eyes as a result of the altercation.
Police have charged Stemberg with nine counts of assault with a weapon and doormen Themistoklis Kouzounas, 27 and Alexander Jaconelli, 30, with assault. Prevost has been charged with weapons dangerous.
"Weapons dangerous is any act which uses a weapon in a threatening manner," Frizzell said, adding Prevost's charge carries a maximum five-year sentence.
Stemberg's charge could get him up to 10 years in jail if convicted, Frizzell added.
All four were released on bail after promising to appear in court to face charges April 27.
James Lee, the owner of the plaza where Shaker's is located, said all charges will be dropped eventually based on the many problems with the police's story.
Lee, who oversees the bar, said none of the bar's employees were allowed to provide statements to police and the pepper spray bottle was never recovered.
"If the police had taken the time to find the pepper spray bottle and check the finger prints they would have found it was not from one of the doormen," Lee said.
Lee also said the baseball bat was a wall ornament removed by one of the customers Sunday night and Prevost was simply holding it.
A group of approximately 200 Delaware Hall students, none of which were directly involved in the struggle, were also in attendance. Delaware's outgoing residents' council president Cynthia Kumar said the event was the year end party for the outgoing and incoming residents' councils.
"I've never seen a dance floor empty that fast," Kumar said, referring to the pepper spray which seeped back into the bar. "The whole event was very loud and violent. People were running around screaming and fighting."