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150-man brawl breaks out at a memorial service in St. Paul

It happened at the American Legion on Arcade Street.

On Monday night, a pair of St. Paul police officers were dispatched to a local American Legion hall, having been told there was a "large fight" involving 25 to 50 people.

What they found when they arrived was instead something far larger, with "between 150 and 200 people" brawling in the hall's parking lot, St. Paul Police Department spokesman Steve Linders told GoMN Wednesday.

The Arcade-Phalen American Legion, on Arcade Street, had been rented out for a "celebration of life" for a "woman who died recently," the Pioneer Press reports.

The manager of the hall told the paper that everything was going well until the end of the memorial, when "a couple of men started arguing near the bar."

It seems to have spiraled out of control from there, but the responding officers helped restore some order, separating the fighters "by directing them to leave" the scene, according to the police report.

In one case, however, a group of people ganging up on a lone "unidentified male" had to be broken up with an "aerosol subject restraint" (pepper spray, basically). 

The officers also called for backup, and when reinforcements arrived, the crowd finally dispersed, Linders said. 

Despite all this, no arrests were made.

This is not the first time this American Legion hall, officially Post 577, has made the news.

It's been the scene of some other notable crimes recently, including a shooting in April of 2016, and last month, a brazen theft by a man who had apparently just strolled into the hall:

Note: This post originally described the April 2016 shooting as fatal, when the victims actually suffered non-life threatening injuries. GoMN apologizes for the error.

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