Wedding Guest Charged With Hitting Cop Appears in Court

A man accused of assaulting a police officer during a wild, alcohol-fueled wedding brawl caught on camera last October, appeared in court on Tuesday.

By Dan Stamm and David Chang
|  Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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A guest at the Sheraton Society Hill witnessed a fight among a wedding party and guests and caught it on cell phone camera.

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A man accused of assaulting a police officer during a wild, alcohol-fueled wedding brawl caught on camera last October, appeared in court on Tuesday.

On October 15, Brian Lanza, of Westfield N.J., turned himself in to Philadelphia Police on charges that he hit a cop. Lanza was already arrested and released on disorderly conduct charges stemming from the brawl inside the Society Hill Sheraton on Dock Street, police said.

Police say that further investigation showed that Lanza, 29, who was a guest at one of the two feuding weddings, allegedly assaulted the officer when police had to be called in to calm the 75- to 100-person rumble.

Police say the disorderly conduct charge was withdrawn as more serious charges including aggravated assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and criminal conspiracy are announced, police said.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced in October that Lanza was arraigned and bail was set at $25,000.

Most of the fighters were drunk, according to police.

Matthew Sofka, 26, also of Westfield, N.J., was already charged with assaulting a police officer, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and related charges. Another man was charged with disorderly conduct, police said.

The brawl was caught on camera by a 15-year-old guest at the hotel.

Brian+Lanza%2C+29%2C+is+accused+of+assualting+a+police+officer+during+a+caught+on+camera+wedding+brawl.“They just started punching each other and hitting each other and the people just came in and started clubbing people,” said Max Schultz who shot the video that has aired now around the world.

In the video, you can see police officers using batons to break up the fight. A woman in a long white dress, who appears to be a bride, is whisked away from the commotion by two men.

Raw video shot by NBC10 outside hotel

It's unclear if any further charges will come from the brawl.

On Tuesday, Lanza appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. He is charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault and other related offenses.

 


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