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Philly Wedding Brawl: Groom's Brother Charged

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By Andrew Lu on October 11, 2012 9:58 AM

A groom's brother was criminally charged for his involvement in a massive Philly wedding brawl over the weekend.

The brawl involved as many as 100 people as two wedding parties clashed at the Sheraton hotel in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. A bride's uncle, 57-year-old Vince Sannuti, died of a heart attack after he left the hotel during the brawl, reports ABC.

A bride can spend hundreds of hours preparing for every contingency in her wedding, but one can't prepare for everything (especially when alcohol is involved) as one Philadelphia bride discovered.

Matthew Sofka, the brother of one of the grooms, is so far the only person charged with a crime for his involvement in the fight. He has been charged with assaulting a police officer, reckless endangerment, and inciting a riot, reports ABC. The 26-year-old man was reportedly even Tasered by police during the riot.

Witnesses say that there was one wedding party taking place at the hotel Saturday night. However, several guests from another wedding were staying at the hotel too. When the two parties mixed, a melee erupted likely with the help of booze.

Authorities say that between 75 to 100 people were involved in the fight, and video of the fight shows Philadelphia police officers everywhere apparently clubbing people with their batons.

The much maligned Philly police are already being blamed for excessive force during a recent incident at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and their response to the wedding brawl does not help their reputation.

But unlike the incident at the parade, where a police officer allegedly punched an unsuspecting woman, the police may have had justification using the amount of force they used in the hotel brawl. After all, up to 100 people were brawling, and police may have more leeway to protect themselves and others in such a case.

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