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Stamford man accused of fighting cop at bar

September 4, 2018

STAMFORD — Police say a drunken patron at the Crab Shell Restaurant got into a “violent” fight with an officer who was working security at the bar.

Sgt. Robert Shawinsky said William Sweeney was asked to leave the restaurant about 10:50 p.m. Sunday. According to police, Sweeney was intoxicated and disturbing restaurant customers and staff.

Shawinsky said Sweeney ignored Officer Robert Somody’s commands and a “violent” physical altercation ensued. Bar staff and customers watched as the fight occurred and some intervened when Sweeney reached for Somody’s gun, according to Somody.

Somody eventually took Sweeney into custody.

“This guy shouldn’t be out drinking in public,” Somody said.

Somody was not injured aside from some aches and pains. The restaurant and bar were not damaged.

Sweeney, 30, of Stamford, was charged with assaulting a police officer, breach of peace, interfering, and criminal trespassing. He was held on a $50,000 bond.

Shawinsky said Sweeney was taken to the hospital, where he was argumentative and rude to the nursing staff.

James Clifford, co-owner of the Crab Shell, said the restaurant pays for a police officer to work security on weekend nights during the summer.

“We have a trained officer there who will handle anybody who gets out of line,” he said, calling the costly practice an “insurance policy” for the business.

In this instance, however, the officer’s approach didn’t seem to deter the customer.

“Instead of going peacefully, he decided that he would fight the police officer,” Clifford said. “Well, you don’t fight a police officer. You’ll get arrested.”

Clifford said Somody, a 2009 Stamford Police Officer of the Year, is not someone to pick a fight with.

“Trust me, I wouldn’t fool with him,” he said.

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