Police break up unruly Hollywood nightclub crowd

HOLLYWOOD - Vice officers in Hollywood called for reinforcements early today to help break up a rowdy crowd after clearing an over-capacity nightclub.

Fights broke out around Cahuenga and Hollywood boulevards as police cleared Empire nightclub at 1716 N. Cahuenga Blvd., starting about 1:15 a.m., according to Los Angeles police Officer Julie Boyer of the Hollywood Station.

Officers in riot gear formed a "scrimmage line,'' backed by patrol cars with flashing lights to herd about 300 people away from the club and west along Hollywood Boulevard, Boyer said.

One police officer put out an "officer needs help'' call about 2 a.m.

A rapper was performing in the club when police cleared it because of overcrowding.

Some patrons appeared drunk and unruly, Boyer said, and some fights broke out. The crowd was dispersed by about 2:30 a.m., she said.