Student brawl in Hatfield forces supermarket to close

A FULL-SCALE brawl, in which police officers were attacked, took place outside a supermarket in Hatfield.

Violence broke out after hundreds of revellers spilled out of a student party at Base Nightclub in Town Centre, to Asda car park, in the early hours of Friday.

At 2.30am eyewitnesses said around 50 police officers were called to break up several fights among the 400-strong crowd – one involved a man brandishing a knife.

The supermarket was shut by police, for more than an hour, for fear troublemakers would take their fights indoors.

One eyewitness told the Welwyn Hatfield Times the night’s events were mayhem.

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She said: “It was chaos. Everyone was fighting; it was a massive punch up.”

The Hatfield resident added: “The police formed a huge line and some guys just went and lashed out at them.

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“It was like a mass riot.

“There was police everywhere and innocent pubgoers were pretty scared.”

Queensway House resident Marc Winch said: “It kicked off with two groups of boys and then the police got involved and people started punching them.

“There were at least 50 police officers, including the riot squad; they just kept coming and coming.

“They Tasered lots of people and some police ended up on the floor.

“The women officers looked scared. It was madness and out of control.”

Resident Neil McDonald said: “It was mental [however] this sort of thing [students fighting] is a regular occurrence in Hatfield.”

A police spokeswoman said officers dealt with “several altercations” on the night.

She added: “Around 20 officers attended the incident.

“No one sustained serious injuries and one police officer sustained minor injuries to his face.”

Chief inspector Dave Newsome added: “In order to disperse the crowd and prevent further incident, we asked Asda to temporarily close their doors.”

A senior manager at Asda said they did not experience any trouble inside the supermarket and that they closed the store on police advice.

Neil Carroll, owner of Base Nightclub, said: “We had been open for an end-of-term party.

“It is a shame the night was ruined by a huge gathering of students fighting afterwards.”

A university spokeswoman said they were aware of the incident.

She added: “The university takes all incidents very seriously and disciplinary action is taken against students found to be involved.”

* A 22-year-old man from Hatfield and a 28-year-old man from WGC were arrested on suspicion of public order offences and given fixed penalty notices.

A 21-year-old Hatfield man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. He was bailed until next month.

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