Fight breaks out at Center City Sips, no arrests

Thursday, July 27, 2017 09:40PM
Brawl during Center City Sips. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on July 27, 2017.

CENTER CITY - No arrests have been made after video surfaced online showing a fight during Philadelphia's Center City District Sips Wednesday night.

In a video posted by Eric Neefe on Twitter and obtained by Action News, at least four to six people could be seen brawling near the Comcast Center on the 1700 block of JFK Boulevard.

"We were just trying to have fun and having a couple of drinks and I see some stuff starting to go down and a fight broke out," Neefe of Chestnut Hill told Action News on Thursday.

Neefe has been coming to the event for years and says he was surprised by the violence.

He's not sure what caused it, but says the fight lasted less than a minute before it was broken up. He feels it was an isolated event.

"For the most part, the 99% is there to have a good time and blow off some steam after work," Neefe said.

Philadelphia police say two officers were patrolling the event, but were not near the fight.

"There were officers present at the event, but they were on the perimeter of the circle," Captain Sekou Kinebrew said.

Police say no one was taken into custody, but they are evaluating if more officers will be needed on patrol.

Police estimate 3,000 people were in the area.

RAW VIDEO: Fight at Center City Sips
Center City Sips fight caught on camera

In a statement to Action News, the Center City District said it regrets the "inappropriate behavior by six individuals in a 20-second incident that disrupted a relaxing after-work event at one of 90 participating venues last evening has cast a shadow on a highly successful promotional event that hundreds of thousands of guests have enjoyed for more than 11 years."

The statement continues, "The CCD is responsible for marketing the SIPS promotion and continues to urge guests to behave in a responsible manner and bars and restaurants to monitor the safety of their guests."

Action News spoke with Alex Plotkin, who owns Chops and hosted the Sips event where the violence happened Wednesday night.

"We are really upset and embarrassed and ashamed by what happened," Plotkin said.

Plotkin says all of his staff are trained not to over serve liquor and everyone that attends is carded. He says he already has at least 15 security guards and will now add even more.

As for the men that caused the commotion, he says they can have a drink in the city, just not at his location.

"We took pictures of their IDs and we will ban them, so to the best of our ability, they won't be coming back," Plotkin said.

CCD Sips takes place every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. until August 30. Participating bars and restaurants offer $5 cocktails, $4 wine, $3 beer and half-priced appetizers during this promotion.
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