St. Patrick's Day Brouhaha at Downtown Royal Oak Bar Leads to 4 Arrests
Police made more than a dozen arrests Saturday, including a shirtless man who tried to incite the crowd outside Woody's.
On Saturday, Royal Oak police and bouncers were pushed to their limits with long lines and big crowds at most downtown bars to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
At Monday's City Commission meeting, Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue reported his department made 13 arrests Saturday, including a man ejected from Woody's and three of his companions.
O’Donohue told commissioners his department has a long and consistent history with the Irish holiday and staffs accordingly, but this year was a little different because the holiday fell on a Saturday.
When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekday, people tend to take off work to go bars and activitiy tends to slow down during the evening hours, the chief said. This year, police didn’t have any real problems until about 10:30 p.m.
“It started with an incident outside of Woody’s, in which a person was ejected from the bar and some officers on the scene walked up to the person and attempted to get him to leave the area,” O’Donohue said.
The man wanted to continue arguing with the bouncers, even after police officers offered to hear him out, provided he move away from the crowd. After several attempts to get the man to leave, officers arrested him, at which point the man's brother and wife attempted to intervene.
“And then a friend took off his shirt and tried to incite the crowd,” O’Donohue said. “All four were arrested. It was a fairly hectic scene.”
The incident could have been worse due to the size of the crowd, but in the end there “really wasn’t much to it,” O’Donohue said.
“Please thank your people, because obviously they did an excellent job,” Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Capello told O'Donohue.
The chief agreed, saying there were "at least 400 people on the scene with smartphones recording everything." If something went wrong, the chief said his department certainly would have heard about it.
In addition to the four arrests outside Woody’s on Saturday night, there were six drunken driving arrests, a couple of miscellaneous arrests, and a 19-year-old man who was drinking in his car was arrested after assaulting two people near Barnes & Noble.