A fight broke out at a wedding Monday night at the Flowerfield Celebrations catering hall in St. James. According to police, the fight broke out when an "uninvited guest" showed up. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

A wedding celebration in St. James Monday night turned into a slugfest when an "uninvited guest" showed up, prompting a major police response and the arrest of two men, including a relative of the bride, according to Suffolk police and one of the men's attorney. 

Police from Suffolk's Fourth Precinct were called to the Flowerfield Celebrations wedding and catering hall on Mill Pond Road at 7:45 p.m. to break up a fight. When they arrived, police found "multiple skirmishes" in progress among the roughly 130 wedding guests, police said.

At a news conference Tuesday in Patchogue, Suffolk Chief of Patrol Gerard Hardy said the incident was sparked when an "uninvited guest" showed up at the wedding.

"That triggered a chain of events which … turned into a large fight," Hardy said, adding that Flowerfield staff made multiple 911 calls seeking assistance. "The fight occurred inside the hall and outside the hall."

Dozens of officers from the Second, Fifth and Sixth precincts, the police canine unit and Emergency Services officers were later called to the scene. Members of the Smithtown Park Rangers and Head of the Harbor police also responded to the melee, police said.

It took about 40 minutes for law enforcement to gain control of the situation, Hardy said.

In a statement to Newsday, Flowerfield said the melee was the first of its kind in the business' 35 years of operation.

"Last evening, there was an altercation during an event at our Flowerfield facility that quickly became a cause for concern," the statement said. "We immediately called the Suffolk County Police Department, who responded and arrived at Flowerfield in record time. SCPD then took charge of the situation in an effective and professional manner … This matter is now in the hands of law enforcement."

Police charged Justize Murphy, 22, of Mastic Beach, with second-degree assault, saying he punched one of the responding officers in the face and bit him on the left forearm. The officer was treated at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown for minor injuries and released, Hardy said.

Murphy pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip and was released on his own recognizance with GPS monitoring.

George Duncan, the defendant's Islip Terrace-based defense attorney, told reporters outside of court Tuesday that his client is the brother of the bride and that he has never been in trouble with the law before.

"He's never been charged with so much as a speeding ticket," Duncan said. "So the allegations are way outside what one would expect."

Suffolk police could not say who was the uninvited wedding guest.

Reached by phone Monday evening, the bride declined to comment.

Murphy told a Suffolk detective that "of course I bit" the officer, according to charging documents. "Someone puts hands on … me. I'm gonna do what I gotta do."

Murphy is due back in court on Sept. 21.

In addition, Qeywon Wilson, 26, of Mastic Beach, was charged with harassment and obstructing governmental administration for allegedly shoving one of the responding officers, Hardy said. He will be arraigned at a later date, police said.

"They were trying to control it and trying to put the situation back together," Hardy said of police who responded to the venue.

None of the wedding guests were hospitalized, Hardy said.

An individual who identified herself as Wilson's fiancée declined to comment but blamed police for making the situation worse because of the heavy law enforcement response. 

With Bart Jones

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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