Club scene yields arrest, city complaints

SAYREVILLE N.J. Oct. 13, 2007 — Police from three municipalities responded to a melee at Deko Lounge early Friday morning, arresting two men for aggravated assault and a third for disorderly conduct, according to police.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m., a fight between two groups broke out in the club, located at 1979 Rt. 35 South, police said.
Officers from Sayreville, Old Bridge and South Amboy responded to the scene, where police said club security had been able to move one of the groups outside. But the group inside exited to the parking lot, where what police described as a large fight took place.
Deko Lounge and its sister club across the road, Club Abyss, have attracted police attention in the past, including a fight at Club Abyss in May during which six people were arrested. Club Abyss was the site of what police called a riot in June 2006, resulting in two stabbings and three arrests.
Friday, club security personnel chased a man they said had a knife, and a police officer intercepted him and arrested him, police said.
Police said the man, 27-year-old Carl Candelaria of Staten Island, had tried to discard a knife in the parking lot, and officers retrieved it.
Police charged Candelaria with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and resisting arrest. He was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge for treatment of injuries to his head and nose before police transported him to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick, where he is being held on $25,000 bail with no option to pay 10 percent.
Another man, 27-year-old David Franzese of Staten Island, was arrested for allegedly hitting the club's owner in the face with brass knuckles. Police said they spotted him in the parking lot when he attempted to flee toward Route 35, police said. Club security personnel and two police officers caught him, and he was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, police said.
Franzese was taken to the county jail with bail set at $75,000 and no option to pay 10 percent. He posted bail Friday and was released.
The club owner, 32-year-old Demetrios Rexinis of Holmdel, went to Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel where he was treated for lacerations to his forehead and a swollen nose.
Police said that when they arrived, people ran off to the wooded area near the parking lot, and one man, 31-year-old John Donadio of Staten Island, eventually came out and admitted to being involved in a fight.
Police charged Donadio for disorderly conduct and released him after processing.
Police said the incident was still under investigation and could not yet say what prompted the fight.
Mayor Kennedy O'Brien, who has been pushing a "three-strikes" method for dealing with unruly nightclubs, said he wants a detailed review before potentially taking action against Deko. That said, O'Brien said borough officials may begin researching how to eliminate nightclub licenses altogether.
"It's my feeling that the era of nightclubs is over," he said. "If your patrons are hitting you in the face with brass knuckles, I don't want that business in Sayreville. I don't have this at the dry cleaners, at the Shop-Rite."
Council President Tom Pollando, who is running against O'Brien for the mayoral post and who calls his opponent's "three strikes" stance too soft, said preliminary information he was given shows the melee was not the club's fault. He said staff members acted appropriately by taking steps to move the disturbance outside.
But, he added: "If it is the club's fault . . . then there should be some reprimand after we get all the findings, whether it's suspensions, club closings or whatever."

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