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Babylon Town to review protocols after fights at church event

Babylon Town hall in Lindenhurst is pictured on

Babylon Town hall in Lindenhurst is pictured on July 9, 2017. Credit: Steve Pfost

Officials in Babylon Town are reviewing public safety protocols at special events after several fights broke out at a church festival in Deer Park last week.

Babylon Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer said the incidents took place at the annual multiday event held by the Roman Catholic Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius on Half Hollow Road. The event at the church was billed as a family-friendly outing. Teenagers allegedly fought outside of church grounds and at a nearby McDonalds Thursday night, Schaffer said. More fights broke out at or near the festival in the following days, he said.

Justin Meyers, assistant Suffolk police commissioner, said officers made three arrests in connection with the incidents: two Saturday for disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration, and one Sunday for a stolen bicycle. The number of people involved in the fights is under investigation, Meyers said.

Additionally, a storm door at a home on nearby Central Avenue was reported as damaged, said Meyers, who did not immediately respond to a question about whether any injuries related to the fights were reported to police.

Church administrators did not respond to a request for comment. The festival has taken place for decades, said Schaffer, who added he could not recall issues at the event in the past.

In response to the melees, town leaders plan to meet with police officials to review special event procedures and the provisions event sponsors must make for insurance and security.

“They were disrespectful,” Schaffer said of those involved in the fights.

“We’re going to take a hard look at everything,” he said, “and see if we have to make any changes to avoid this type of situation in the future.”

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