By Patrick Hedlund, Serena Solomon and Ben Fractenberg
LOWER EAST SIDE — A melee erupted outside an Orchard Street club early Wednesday morning that left five police officers injured and five under arrest, police said.
The incident unfolded around midnight after an album release party for rap group Smif-N-Wessun ended abruptly, sending hundreds of people flooding into the street.
Cops were called at 12:10 a.m. for a disorderly crowd outside the venue, Tammany Hall, at 152 Orchard St., the NYPD said. When they tried to move people off the street, the scuffle ensued.
The five people arrested were charged with assault, disorderly conduct, obstruction of government affairs and inciting a riot, police said.
The officers were taken to Bellevue Hospital. The extent of their injuries was not clear. It was also unclear if anybody else was injured.
A Tammany Hall manager declined to comment or say why the concert ended early.
"It was rowdy enough that our owner said none of us should go out," said a server at Phong Tiam Thai restaurant, which is next door.
Both workers and patrons locked themselves in the restaurant from midnight until 12:30 a.m., according to employees, while fights broke out in front the club and objects were being tossed around the street.
"The whole night there was a lot of confrontation. People where fighting trying to get in [to Tammany Hall]," said the server.
She added that normally the venue had good security.
Another local store owner said the club often drew a raucous crowd.
"I see a lot of young people drinking and smoking, leaning on my [window]," said the owner, who just gave her first name, Dora. "They bang on my gate. It's a little bit annoying for us."