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Drunken Brawl Over Bathroom Line Mars New Year's Party, Witnesses Say

By  Nigel Chiwaya and Carla Zanoni | January 1, 2013 11:45am 

INWOOD — New Year's revelers attacked each other with broken Tabasco bottles at a popular restaurant when a booze-fueled brawl over a bathroom line spiraled out of control Tuesday morning, witnesses said.

Police responded to El Buffet Restaurant, at 217 Dyckman St., at approximately 8 a.m., after receiving a call that a fight had broken out.

According to witnesses, the brawl began when a woman grew impatient waiting for the ladies room, which was being used by a woman who was throwing up. Tension escalated when she started arguing on line with the sick woman's friend, prompting the women's boyfriends to get involved. 

Witnesses said about 10 people stepped into the fray, some of whom swiped at each other with jagged hot-sauce bottles, police and witnesses said.

A 28-year-old man was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree assault and two people were treated for minor injuries, police said. The attacker's name was not immediately available.

A restaurant employee who was locking up about 9 a.m. said the melee was fueled by alcohol and involved bottles and a sliced-open can of Pepsi.

"They cut people with bottles," he said. "But not bottles of alcohol, it was Tabasco. Hot sauce."

"People drunk all the time. They were partying for New Year's."