CLIFTON — Police arrested an 18-year-old and are seeking another suspect in two stabbings that happened during a brawl that broke out after a house party this weekend, authorities said.
The brawl stemmed from a comment made about someone’s song selection during the house party on Highland Avenue near Van Winkle Avenue, but police said underlying animosity between two groups in attendance fueled the dispute, said Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken. Investigators also believe gang members were at the party.
The party let out about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, and a huge fight ensued. The altercation spanned a block as at least 20 people fought each other while bouncing off cars with at least two people stabbed and at least one person injured while trying to flee, Bracken said.
Police were called to a Clifton Avenue gas station where two victims in the fight were sitting in a car filled with five people. A 17-year-old Clifton boy was suffering from several stab wounds in his upper and lower back, and a 19-year-old Clifton man had cuts on his arms and hands from what police believe was a fall while he fled from the flight.
Both victims were taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and were released later in the day.
A 17-year-old male from Passaic, who also was repeatedly stabbed in the back, was driven to St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic with stab wounds. He later was taken to University Hospital in Newark and also was released later in the day, Bracken said.
Police arrested Felix Bonilla, 18, of Passaic in his stabbing, Bracken said.
Bonilla was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was being held in county jail on $150,000 bond, police said.
Police are seeking a suspect — but do not have an identity — in the stabbing of the Clifton teen in the ongoing investigation, Bracken said. The stabbing victims were from either side of the feuding factions, he said.
“Both of them are extremely lucky,” Bracken said about the stabbing victims. “The slightest margin either way: if the wound was the slightest bit to the left or right or a little deeper, you would have had a different outcome.”
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