Explicit Video Surfaces as Hundreds Brawl on Utica’s Varick Street
[EDITOR'S NOTE: UPDATE: The video contained in this story, originally posted by a user on Facebook, has since been taken down by that user. This post has been updated to remove references about the video. The video contained images that were disturbing, including images that depict inappropriate images, language, and behavior. Viewer discretion was strongly advised.]
Several large fights broke out early Sunday morning on Varick Street in Utica at about 1:30 a.m., according to Utica Police. Several agencies were called in to assist UPD through Mutual Aid and canisters of pepper spray fog were released on to the crowd to get it to disperse. Police say there were no serious injuries.
Police arrived at the scene shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and attempted to break up a handful off fights that had spilled out onto Varick Street in Utica. Once police realized they were significantly outnumbered, they reached out for help from neighboring agencies. It took police nearly an hour to disperse the crowd. The street was cleared out just before 2:30 a.m..
A majority of the fighting happened at the corner of Varick Street and Edward Street. Based on video accounts, it seemed like most of the people involved were women.
The video is available on Facebook from a Facebook user who has since had second thoughts about publishing the video.
Police say they used pepper spray initially, but because the crowd was so large, at least one canister of pepper spray fog was released which broke up the crowd. Bystanders were also affected by the pepper spray fog, according to authorities.
Police say alcohol appeared to play a part in the brawl and while only two people were arrested, additional arrests are pending after police review their body cam footage.