A brawl erupted outside the Paper Moon restaurant and bar early last Friday morning, resulting in an assault on a police officer and several arrests.

The exact cause of the fight which primarily involved George Washington University students is uncertain, though Lt. Brian Bray of the Metropolitan Police Department said officers believed one student bumped into another and spilled his beer.

The two exchanged words and a brawl ensued between the students and their friends on the way out of the bar at approximately 1:45 a.m.

Bray also said most of the participants were suspected to be intoxicated.

Plainclothes police officers were at Paper Moon making arrests for underage drinking and attempted to break up the fight. One officer was struck three times, twice in the back and once in the head, by one of the participants, William Kopke, a George Washington University student. He was arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

Management at Paper Moon denied reports that the violence took place inside the restaurant. One manager said the fight began outside of the restaurant after the lights had been turned up following last call and patrons had begun to leave.

Several students were arrested for disorderly conduct and others for underage drinking unrelated to the fight. Lt. Bray said an incident report will be filed, as procedure, with Alcohol Beverage Control, but it is doubtful that any action will be taken against the bar because it has a limited history of underage drinking offenses. “Only if enough violations are reported will ABC act on it.”

Bray also said the plainclothes officers who were at the scene are a regular presence in local establishments. “Most bars . are good about working with the police and make an effort to comply with regulations,” Bray said. Others, according to Bray, are less stringent in their policies. “Champions and Rhino’s are more repeat offenders,” he said.

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