NORWALK - Norwalk city officials have canceled all August events onboard the Island Belle Riverboat after a series of fights and other incidents.
Police say the incidents often start on the boat and spill out on the dock and in the parking lot once the boat anchors. The most recent brawl happened overnight Sunday, when Norwalk police say their entire overnight shift responded to the scene. Police say by the time they arrived, the fighting had calmed down and no arrests were made. A previous fight happened a month before, leaving the boat with a broken window.
The boat's owner, Ken Hart, says the city is picking on his company and wants the boat gone, using whatever reason available. Hart tells News 12 Connecticut that the boat's security handled the fight over the weekend and the fight last month. He says the police are blowing things out of proportion and he thinks canceling the boat's events is a bad move for the city.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling claims the boat has been a nuisance and canceling events is being done as a safety concern for the city. Rilling says he hopes to meet with the police chief and Parks and Recreation director to figure out a more permanent solution.