The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
From In re Albany County Sheriff's Dept., 2019 WL 4385845 (N.Y. Work. Comp. Bd.):
He described the altercation over which he resigned as words being exchanged in a bar, him approaching a guy, the guy swinging at him, him yelling stop then swinging back and the guy's girlfriend being hit during the may lay.
At least there's no evidence in the record that any of them were Malay.
By the way, there is indeed a link, other than just the similar letters, to "May Day! May Day!"—the distress call originated as a phonetic spelling of the French m'aidez or m'aider, which means "help me." (The Oxford English Dictionary confirms that.) The same thing seems to have happened here with "melee."