Bar brawl 'over a girl' shames New York's most exclusive sports club

After fists fly and three members are arrested, management tries to cover up the incident

Among the character-building sports practised by wealthy members of the historic New York Athletics Club are judo, wrestling, rugby, boxing, water polo and fencing.

A combination of all six was on display when a row between the chino-wearing patrons of the club's wood-panelled Tap Room bar escalated into what a recently-published account from an astonished witness called "the best fight I've ever seen".

Three gentlemen were arrested, and two sent to hospital, after police were called earlier this month to the 144-year-old club, which overlooks Central Park and is known for its strict dress code, exclusive membership and eye-watering fees.

Fisticuffs began when two mildly-inebriated members began arguing over a girl, said a report which was posted on the "Wall Street Jackass" internet blog last week and has since gone viral. It escalated into a "non-discriminatory ragematch" which involved "young people, old people, girls, members, non-members" and ended with tables and chairs overturned, glasses smashed, blood on the floor and walls and "at least two broken noses".

Ten police officers were required to restore order at the premises, which also boast a library, squash courts, guest rooms, an aquatic centre and cabinets full of memorabilia from hundreds of past and present members who have won Olympic medals.

"It's tough to elaborate on it's [sic] epicness but I'll do my best," said the eyewitness report of the punch-up, which eventually involved about a dozen combatants. "No one could leave unless you wanted to go through the lion's pit so we all just stood ... and watched it all unfold. It came in HOT."

Among the unfortunate victims was a bartender, Luis, who apparently tried to intervene to stop two brawling women from causing each other serious injury. "BIG MISTAKE," said the witness. "Luis fell like a bag of sand after a fairly aggressive push and he started screaming 'call 911!'."

Police confirmed that three men were arrested in the early hours of 13 April. Peter Doran, 28, and Matthew O'Grady, 31, were charged with assaulting a 48-year-old man, and Colin Drowica, 30, was charged with attempted menacing.

The incident is deeply troubling to the stuffed shirts who preside over the club, which has a joining fee of $8,500 and annual membership charges of $3,000. Particularly upsetting, it seems, is the fact that details have been made public.

"I cannot state forcefully enough how abhorrent this event is to me, personally, and how contrary it is to the standards of decorum we expect from our members and their guests," wrote the president, S Colin Neill, in a letter to members which was leaked yesterday. "Appropriate action is being taken against all of those involved."

In a futile effort to prevent further details being made public, Mr Neill added: "Distribution via the various social media of photographs and letters detrimental to the club and its reputation will not be tolerated.

"It is the responsibility of each and every member to protect and embellish the standing of the NYAC."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review