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A court proceeding to determine if a city official committed assault during a fracas early New Year's Day in his Ferry Avenue tavern has been adjourned until Feb. 5, according to Niagara Falls City Court reports.

The incident, which involved Human Services Director David Fabrizio, was reported to Niagara Falls police at 2:15 a.m. Jan. 1, shortly after a verbal altercation erupted in Unc's Bar, 223 Ferry.

The altercation -- between Fabrizio and Charles B. Florence of John Avenue -- erupted after Fabrizio allegedly fondled Florence's girlfriend, according to a statement taken in the emergency room of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

"A verbal altercation took place between the victim and another party inside the bar. The victim was choked and then jumped by approximately three or four of the bouncers employed by Unc's Bar," Florence stated in a report taken by Officer Kelly Alcorn. "The victim was punched and kicked continuously by all suspects inside, then carried outside."

Florence was treated and released for facial contusions and pain to his left shoulder, according to police reports.

He reportedly suffered a torn rotator cuff during the scuffle, police said Friday.

Fabrizio was advised numerous times not to touch the woman, according to police reports.

A warrant hearing scheduled Friday before North Tonawanda City Court Judge Richard Kloch was adjourned until next month due to a change of counsel by Fabrizio, according to court reports.

Niagara Falls City Court judges, all citing conflicts of interest, recused themselves from the legal proceedings, necessitating the out-of-town justice, according to Fabrizio's former attorney Mark Grossman.

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