Officer injured in bar brawl talks to CBS 3 - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


Officer injured in bar brawl talks to CBS 3

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A little more than a week after four Springfield officers were injured in a bar brawl involving around 60 people, one of the officers injured spoke to CBS 3 about the night of the incident.

Monday night Officer Eleni Mendez addressed a crowd of women at the Springfield Police Department's self-defense class. Mendez was one of the instructors for the group, but was unable to teach during the last two classes because she suffered a severe concussion in a late night bar brawl.

"What happened was so unexpected, I had no control over it," said Mendez.

Around a week and a half ago, a fight broke out involving around 60 people at the Fat Cat Bar and Grill.

"My partner went to go break up the fight and then I went to go assist him and we got bombarded by just numerous patrons in the bar," Mendez said. "Just everybody broke out fighting and as I went to try and go break it up I was attacked from behind."

Mendez says after the initial blow, she knew she had to call in for reinforcements.

"So, I went to go and hit my emergency tone button and as I did that I was struck again from behind," Mendez said.

Around 20 officers responded. Four officers, including Mendez, were sent to the hospital.

"We were trying to just really fight for our lives really just to try and gain some type of control," Mendez said.

Nine people were arrested after the brawl, four were Marines. Mendez said she didn't realize she was hurt until the fight was over.

"Within several minutes afterwards I started losing my sight, my vision became blurry and I just told my partner that I was with that I really needed to get to the doctors," Mendez said.

Even though her injuries are very severe, Mendez says that skills like the ones she teaches in the self-defense class helped to save her life.

"I really believe that the tactics helped protect me," Mendez said.

Mendez said that she is doing better, but still has a long way to go in terms of recovery. Her doctors tell her it could be anywhere from a month to a year before she is able to return to work.

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