Naperville’s third downtown fight forces police to alter plan

Naperville police will be giving the city’s downtown area special treatment this weekend following the area’s third violent fight since late August.

Four men, all from surrounding communities, were arrested just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday outside BlackFinn American Saloon, 16 W. Jefferson St., after fight inside the bar spilled out onto the street.

Naperville police arrested three of the men involved in the fight, one of whom was Tazed and deputies from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office arrested the fourth after he battered a deputy.

“I’m still disturbed by the fight we had downtown. It involved not only police officers from our jurisdiction but four county deputies had to come in and assist us with this fight that started in the establishment and ended up in the street,” Police Chief Bob Marshall said Tuesday. “That’s very concerning to our department and we’re going to take steps to curtail this activity.”

Jose Martinez, 21, of Montgomery, was arrested by the deputy sheriffs and is charged with aggravated battery and one count of resisting or obstructing police,

The men arrested by Naperville police included Michael McLaughlin, 27, of Glen Ellyn; Nicholas Panno, 26, of Wheaton; and Eric Sola, 26, of Schaumburg.

McLaughlin was charged with two counts of battery and one count each of attempting to disarm an officer and resisting arrest. Panno is charged with interfering with police. Sola was charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer, battery causing bodily harm, attempted battery and two counts of battery.

The violence comes less than two weeks after Marshall outlined his department’s plan to curb downtown violence. His plan includes the recent increase officers in the downtown on weekend evenings, increasing the number of security cameras in the downtown from five to 10 and working with the Naperville Fire Department to enforce over occupancy issues.

While his plan encompasses the entire downtown, Marshall said Tuesday that much of the violence is centered around BlackFinn.

There definitely seems to be some patterns and trends that indicate some of the more serious offenses are occurring at that location and in that area,” Marshall said. “That fact has caught our attention.”

But he’s not expecting a repeat this weekend.

“We’re going to make some adjustments in our plan for this weekend and that’s as far as I want to say,” he said.

A staff member at BlackFinn told a reporter no one would be available to comment.

Chief’s plan to curb crime

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