Local man charged with aggravated manslaughter in connection with fatal bar fight

An Elizabeth resident has been arrested and charged in connection with an altercation at a local bar that ended with a man’s death earlier this year, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Tuesday.

Laquan McCall, 28, is charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter in connection with the death of 28-year-old Oscar Melara of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Police Department patrol units responding to a report of an altercation at Ben’s Bar on the 600 block of Meadow Street shortly after 2 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, July 27, found Melara there, having sustained injuries, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Ruppert, who is prosecuting the case. Melara was transported to Trinitas Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force, the Elizabeth Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, resulted in McCall being identified as a suspect in the case. He was arrested on Friday morning and lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing scheduled to take place in Superior Court.

Anyone with information about Melara’s death is still being urged to contact Sgt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271 or Detective Lamar Hartsfield at 908-451-1873.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.