EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 27, 2011

Two stabbed in bar fight

LAWRENCE — Two people were stabbed during a bar fight in a Lawrence club early yesterday morning.

Lawrence police arrested Yisthen Ynoa, 26, of Lawrence after Ynoa allegedly stabbed two people during a fight at the Club Copa on 1 Mill St. around 1:30 a.m.

Lawrence police Chief John Romero said the two victims did not suffer serious injuries. The names of the victims were not immediately available.

According to the police report, a small fight broke out near the rear of the bar and the bathroom. Police were able to review surveillance video footage they say showed Ynoa fleeing out a side exit.

Police interviewed Ynoa, who told police he was acting in self defense. Police recovered a small red knife that Ynoa identified as the weapon, according to the report.

"I did what I had to do, I had to defend myself," Ynoa told police. "They could have picked up a bottle and hit me with it. I was defending myself."

Ynoa faces charges of assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Romero said police have learned the fight started over a minor disagreement. He said Lawrence police see a lot of minor arguments in clubs turn violent — from people bumping into one another to people looking at one another the wrong way.

"We have these serious incidents inside clubs and sometimes outside clubs," Romero said. "And more often than not, we find when we investigate these things, the motive is over ridiculous things."

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