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4 Belleville Police, Lyndhurst Man Busted In North Arlington Bar Brawl

John Clarizio, Giovanni Casillo, Jesse McKeough, Marco Zarfino, Vasilios Theofanidis
John Clarizio, Giovanni Casillo, Jesse McKeough, Marco Zarfino, Vasilios Theofanidis Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. -- Four off-duty Belleville police officers and a Lyndhurst man were charged Monday in connection with a North Arlington bar brawl in October, authorities said.

The fight sent a civilian to the hospital for a minor injury and no criminal charges were filed at the time, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said.

An investigation found, however, that one of the officers gave false information to a Lyndhurst police officer who responded to the scene around 1 a.m. Oct. 21, the prosecutor said.

Belleville Officer John Clarizio, 32, of Nutley was that officer, Grewal said. He was charged with hindering apprehension and simple assault.

Also charged with simple assault were Belleville Officers Marco Zarfino, 24, of Belleville, Jesse McKeough, 28, also of Belleville and Giovanni Casillo, 39, of Wayne.

Grewal’s detectives also charged 39-year-old pool technician Vasilios Theofanidis of Lyndhurst with simple assault, he said.

The investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Confidential Investigation Unit began after his office was contacted by his Essex County counterparts, Grewal said.

Detectives found that the trouble between the off-duty officers and civilians began inside the bar, the prosecutor said. All were escorted out by security, and the brawl continuued on the street, he said.

Eventually, Lyndhurst and North Arlington police arrived and “took control of the situation,” Grewal said.

All five men were scheduled for first appearances on Dec. 14 in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, he said.

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