Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Philly police to use YouTube video as evidence in huge wedding brawl

What gets posted on the Internet stays on the Internet, goes the old saying, and that may prove helpful to authorities in Philadelphia. Police say the YouTube video of a brawl that broke out early Sunday at the Sheraton Society Hill hotel will be used to make more arrests in the matter.

Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said that authorities are “interviewing police officers, witnesses, hotel staff" and reviewing the YouTube video of the Sunday melee between two different wedding parties, involving some 100 people. The entire fight was captured on video and posted on YouTube by hotel guest Max Schultz, 15, who was awakened by the noise.

The original video has gone viral, receiving more than 850,000 views at the time of this writing. Numerous copies on YouTube are keeping the original from garnering still more hits.

Three people have already been arrested in the incident, which began in the hotel bar after a wedding reception. One man, Vince Sannuti, 57, died of a heart attack after he left the hotel during the melee. He was found outside the hotel unconscious, and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Two people were issued disorderly conduct citations, but a third person, Matthew Sofka, 26, of Westfield, N.J., was described by police as the "main combatant." He was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and rioting, police said.

Schultz was celebrating his 15th birthday at the hotel with his parents. His video is now considered evidence in the case.

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