As Nicole Sannuti, a financial-services manager, planned her dream wedding on the social-media website Pinterest, she imagined sparkly centerpieces, tiered cakes and shadow boxes to hold her wedding memorabilia. But now, her dream will forever be overshadowed by a nightmare – the melee that broke out early Sunday between her wedding party and another at the Society Hill Sheraton, ending with her uncle dead of a heart attack and a relative of her new husband’s in prison. The all-out brawl involved between 50 and 100 people and was fueled by alcohol, police said…Sannuti and Sofka both attended St. Joseph’s University and live in Jersey City, according to their LinkedIn pages and other online records. Sofka, 29, works as a business-development associate at Newtown Capital Management, and Sannuti, 28, is a vice president of asset management HR at Credit Suisse.
Sannuti’s page on Pinterest shows that she’d been contemplating a wedding with elements of love and beauty, not of violence and death. Photos on the page include a love message from the groom to the bride on her wedding shoe, flowers glued to Styrofoam balls, and the palms of four hands displaying the word F-O-R-E-V-E-R, spelled out in Scrabble tiles and a wedding band for the letter O.
Lt. Ray Evers, police spokesman, said it’s still not clear what sparked the fights. “I don’t have a solid answer how it started,” he said, “but we had to come in and clean it up.” Hotel guests said that between 50 and 100 cops showed up and tried to keep the peace but that several partygoers fought back. The YouTube video shows one cop hitting a combative guest three times with a baton. Evers said police also fired a stun gun at that man, identified as Matthew Sofka, when he resisted arrest. Sofka, 26, a relative of Michael Sofka’s, was taken into custody and charged with assault on police, inciting a riot and related offenses, Evers said. Police said more arrests were expected as they interview more guests and responding police officers, and as they pore over additional surveillance footage.