Dennis Veteri, the South Jersey man who made headlines in January when a cellphone video of him pummeling another man in front of Geno's Steaks went viral, will definitely be home for the holidays.
Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler sentenced Veteri, 33, to 11 1/2to 23 months of house arrest on Friday followed by five years of probation for the Jan. 2 beating of off-duty Woodbridge, N.J. cop Neal Auricchio, 31.
Assistant District Attorney Francis McCloskey had asked that Veteri be sentenced to 1 1/2to 4 years in prison, while defense attorney Michael DeFino asked for house arrest.
"He's a good man who had a bad day. He's going to have to pay for this for the next seven years because his liberty is totally restricted," said DeFino, who noted that this client will have to wear an ankle monitor while on house arrest and will only be able to leave home to go to work and to drug and alcohol treatment classes.
Veteri, a union mason who is engaged and has three children, will also have to move to Philadelphia to satisfy the terms of his sentence, DeFino said.
Flyers fan Veteri and his friends clashed with Rangers fans Auricchio and Michael Janocko, 27, outside the sandwich shop following the Flyers-New York Rangers Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.
Auricchio took the brunt of the beating from Veteri, suffering broken eye socket bones and lacerations.
Veteri, who pleaded guilty, told the judge that he loves his family more than himself and "he will never mess up again."
Auricchio said the "unfortunate incident" put him out of work for two months but his vision is improving.