City News

‘Chaos, Bedlam, Insanity:’ State Street Qdoba fight ends with 5 arrests

The Mexican restaurant was the site of a 15-person brawl early Saturday morning.

The Mexican restaurant was the site of a 15-person brawl early Saturday morning.

A large fight at a downtown Madison restaurant drew a crowd of roughly 200 onlookers early Saturday morning, ending in multiple arrests and citations.

The fight occurred around 2 a.m. and involved about 15 people inside Qdoba Mexican Eats at 548 State St., according to the Madison Police Department.

The fight began when individuals in Qdoba cut in line. This upset other customers and lead to a drink being thrown, resulting in a large scuffle, according to MPD Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain.

While one passerby called the authorities, a restaurant employee informed a nearby patrolling Madison police officer that there was a disturbance at Qdoba.

As officers arrived on scene, the fight spilled outside and drew a crowd in the hundreds. Some bystanders became hostile to the responding officers. While some resisted arrest, others attempted to pull police away from those they were trying to detain. 

A total of 13 MPD officers and multiple UW-Madison police officers responded to the incident, according to Lt. John Radovan, who wrote the police report. DeSpain said five individuals were taken to the Dane County Public Safety Building either for resisting arrest or for disorderly conduct, while others were issued citations on the scene.

Responding MPD Sgt. Nate Becker described the scene as “complete chaos, bedlam, insanity … the likes of which I have never seen in my 12+ years as a Madison Police Officer” in his report.

Officers reported no injuries to themselves or to those involved besides some scraped knees, but pepper spray was used by multiple officers on the crowd.

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