Police deployed batons and CS spray to gain control of a mass brawl outside a Cookstown nightclub at the weekend, but no arrests were made.
A witness said the fight, which involved around 15 men and happened like a “flash-in-the-pan”, involved more men than there were police, and felt they had no other option but to take such measures.
But he also said a number of people who were not involved in the brawl were hit by the pepper spray.
“A whole lot of guys just started fighting all at once,” he explained.
“Ten to 15 guys, and there was only 10 police there - there wouldn’t have been a chance.”
“There was some people who were sprayed who weren’t involved,” he added.
“It was a fairly nasty, quick fight. It stopped very quickly once they were sprayed.”
A woman who commented on the fight on Facebook, said: “Cookstown... The only place you will see people getting pepper sprayed in the eyes and getting hit with batons. Oh my God.”
Asked about the incident, a spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Police responded to reports of an altercation involving a large number of people on James Street in Cookstown around 2am on Sunday 22 May.
“Upon arrival of police a large number of people were involved in a brawl on the street. Due to the number of people involved it was necessary for officers to draw their batons. It was also necessary for an officer to deploy CS incapacitant spray in an attempt to restore calm and bring the incident under control.
“There were no reports of any injuries and no arrests were made at the time. Police enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”
Cookstown Street Angels were on hand to help those caught up in the fight.