Forty-nine officers were needed to break up a brawl early yesterday at a waterfront nightclub in Ocean City where several members of the Washington Wizards were attending a party.
A police spokesman said the Wizards were not involved in the fistfights that led to the arrest of eight men and left three officers with minor injuries at Fager's Island restaurant and club.
The club's Web site advertised the event as the "First Annual Ocean City Allstar Jam," featuring guard Steve Blake, a free agent who played on the NBA team the past two seasons, and "his friends from the Maryland Terrapins and Washington Wizards."
Zack Bolno, public relations director for the Wizards, said that he did not know which of the team's players had attended and that he was "not aware of any of our players being involved" in the melee.
University of Maryland players also were not involved, police said.
Club representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The event, scheduled from 9 p.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. yesterday, featured rapper-DJ Biz Markie and attracted about 150 people. Police had assigned two plainclothes officers to the club that night because they thought the players would "attract a lot of people and may carry a rowdy crowd," said Barry Neeb, public information officer for the Ocean City police.
"They were right," he added.
The fighting began at 1:45 a.m. on the deck and in the parking lot of the club, on 60th Street, one block south of the Route 90 bridge.
The two officers inside the club did not see what started the fight, Neeb said. "It's inconsequential to us what the reason was. The important thing was getting it stopped."
Eight men, ages 19 to 26, were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and assault and are awaiting their initial appearance in Ocean City's District Court.