Hoboken hoodlums thought to be members of the notorious “Bloods” gang attacked and repeatedly slashed several youths who were leaving a birthday party Saturday night at Hoboken’s Elks Lodge, police said.
According to a statement given to police by the victims, one of whom was a 21-year-old from Union City who received multiple lacerations to his face and behind his ear, the aggressors were Latino males from Hoboken’s housing projects who may be “Bloods” gang members. The assailants were not guests at the party and could not be specifically identified by the victims, according to Sgt. Michael Costello.
One adult witness at the scene described the assailants as black males wearing red baseball-style caps with black and red striped sweaters, according to the police report.
Police are currently in the process of identifying the actors, added Costello, who promised “arrests are imminent.”
Anyone with information about the incident is requested to call Det. Costello at (201) 420-2110 or Det. Joseph Craven, who is hading the investigation, at (201) 420-2113.
Blood on the pavement
At approximately 1:11 a.m. Sunday morning, police responded to a call of a street fight involving weapons in the area of 10th and Washington Streets.
Approximately 15 to 20 individuals were at the scene when police arrived. The suspects, who are believed to have initiated the fight, had already fled.
A 21-year-old Rutherford man whose birthday was being celebrated that night was one of the victims. After receiving multiple slash wounds to his face and ear, he was taken to St. Mary Hospital.
A second victim who claims to have been trying to break up the fight was stabbed in the back and taken to Jersey City Medical Center by Hoboken’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
A third victim of the altercation, a 20-year-old Union City resident, who according to the police report was physically assaulted, refused medical treatment at the scene.
The reason for the fight has not yet been determined, nor has a weapon been recovered.
The 21-year-old guest of honor at the party told police that the party began at 7 p.m. and included approximately 80 guests. The party let out at 1 a.m.
At that time, friends and family members who were exiting the Elks Lodge were approached in the street outside by a group of unknown youths. The 21-year-old who was celebrating his birthday had stayed back to help clean up. He told police that he heard what sounded like an altercation and ran outside, where he saw his brother-in-law engaged in a fight on the corner.
The 21-year-old proceeded to run down the block, pulling an individual off his brother-in-law’s back, at which time the aggressors scattered. The altercation lasted for several minutes, say police.
Two fights two months
Although Saturday night’s incident outside the Elks Club was not believed to have been initiated by guests from the party, it’s the second brawl that occurred in the last seven weeks involving individuals who were attending a function at the lodge.
The first incident happened on Saturday Sept. 16 at 11:12 p.m. and involved a group of unidentified youths from Hoboken and Jersey City who, according to police sources, fought over a rap song that was played by the DJ.
In that instance, the altercation began on the dance floor inside the lodge before spreading into the streets. Outside, an 18-year-old from Jersey City was struck by an unidentified object, causing a deep laceration to the left side of his face.
The victim wound up receiving 25 stitches at St. Mary Hospital. No arrests have been made in connection with the brawl.
The two altercations have caused some in the otherwise quiet residential area to ask about the procedure for booking parties at the Elks Lodge. In order to rent space from the Elks, the request must be made by a member and can only be made for that individual or a member of their immediate family, and the Elks member must be present during the party.
“We don’t just let a member rent for some guy they know off the street,” said Elks House Chairman Tom Foley, who handles the booking of all engagements. “We never had this problem before.”
Foley admitted there have been fights between individuals in the past, but nothing that could compare to what happened over the weekend.
In order to be considered by the Elks Lodge for renting a room, an applicant must meet with Foley to discuss in detail the nature of the party, the size and several other factors. Although alcohol is not provided by the Lodge, parties are permitted to bring their own, requiring a city permit if they intend to sell it on the premises.
Security is not provided by the Elks, said Foley, who added that the member in whose name the room has been rented is held accountable for anything that occurs during the party.
At this point, no one has been punished for this weekend’s events. But Foley says the Lodge will look into the matter and might impose additional restrictions onto the selection process.
Michael Mullins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.