PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey man accused of beating two New York Rangers fans after the NHL Winter Classic has been ordered to stand trial for assault.
Dennis Veteri, 32, of Glassboro, is facing assault and conspiracy charges in the attack which occurred outside Geno’s, a popular South Philadelphia cheesesteak shop, after the Jan. 2 Rangers-Flyers game.
Police said Veteri knocked Iraq War veteran and Woodbridge, N.J., police officer Neal Auricchio unconscious. Auricchio’s friend, Mike Janocko, also suffered head injuries.
At a preliminary hearing Thursday, Auricchio and Janocko recounted their versions of the melee and testified they were waiting in line for sandwiches when Veteri and other Flyers fans began verbally and physically attacking them.
Both men identified Veteri as the instigator and main attacker.
The video shows a man in a Flyers jersey throwing the first punch seen on tape. When one of the Rangers fans tries to intervene, he’s thrown to the ground and surrounded by the three Flyers fans who pummel him.
Veteri remains free on bail and faces a formal arraignment on April 12th, according to our sister station, CBS Philly. His attorney said the case is a fistfight being blown out of proportion.