WATERVILLE — A brawl that reportedly began inside the Spirits bar in the basement of the Silver Street Tavern spilled outside early Saturday and eventually involved as many as 50 people. Officers from four police departments responded and made six arrests.

The scene was described as “very dangerous” by one police chief, “chaotic” by another.

The six men arrested, five of them from out of state, were charged with a variety of offenses and have court dates later this year.

Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said Monday police were told the initial fight began when someone was punched in the face, but police couldn’t confirm that. By the time officers arrived, it had become a “chaotic” melee out on the street, Massey said.

The first officers who arrived couldn’t handle the situation, so the department called for help from Winslow, Oakland and Fairfield police, as well as the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Winslow Police Chief Shawn O’Leary said the brawl could have had a much worse outcome.

“I’m really glad that none of the officers were hurt,” O’Leary said. “This is another situation where alcohol got involved and people got into fights, and when you have 40 or 50 people involved, not knowing who the aggressors are, it’s a very dangerous situation.”

Two of the men arrested – Wilfredo Otero and Luis Leon, both of Lowell, Massachusetts – fled from a cruiser after they had been arrested and were quickly caught, so a felony escape charge was added to their other charges.

Waterville police charged Otero, 30, with disorderly conduct, obstructing government administration and escape. Leon, 35, was charged with refusing to submit to arrest or detention, disorderly conduct and escape. Because of their felony escape charges, the men are scheduled to appear Nov. 23 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Thomas Dylan Cason, 23, of  Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, was charged with obstructing government administration, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, and failure to disperse. Daniel Gilkes, 36, of Lowell was charged with obstructing government administration and failure to disperse. They are scheduled to appear in Waterville District Court on Dec. 22.

Winslow police arrested Billy Jasper Trivette, 24, of Dexter and charged him with disorderly conduct fighting, assault, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, physical force and criminal mischief. Timothy Michael Thayer, 26, of Hudson, New Hampshire, was charged by Winslow police with failure to disperse and obstructing government administration.

All were taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta. Massey said the arrested men from out of state were working in the Waterville area.

Colby College officials Monday said some of the men arrested work for an outside contractor at a construction project at Colby, but none are employees of the college.

Massey said police got a call around 12:30 a.m. Saturday that there was a fight on Silver Street in front of Spirits. He said a large group of people – about 50 – were involved.

When the first Waterville officers arrived, “there were a number of people outside and the scene was chaotic,” he said.

Groups of people were swearing, shouting and challenging one another as police tried to make sense of what was going on, but it was difficult, he said.

Officers did all they could to contain the crowd, but there were not enough officers, so they called for backup from the other departments, Massey said.

More fights broke out. Waterville police Sgt. Brian Gardiner and Waterville Officer Tim Locke tried to break them up and arrested two men who refused to stop fighting, according to Massey. Waterville Officer Robert Bouley also made arrests.

Police at one point ordered the crowd outside to disperse and said anyone who did not would be arrested, Massey said.

Police were told that the fight started when someone was assaulted inside the bar, and that the assailant was still inside, but they couldn’t find a potential initial victim or assailant inside.

Police were told, however, that there were “issues” going on inside and the management had asked people to leave, Massey said.

Winslow’s O’Leary said when several departments are needed to cover such a melee, it leaves the departments without coverage, creating a serious situation.

“We work very well with Waterville, hand in hand,” he said, “and when they need us, we’ll go, and when we need them, they’ll come over here.”