CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The cellphone images were seen by thousands.
A Long Island man is seen charging a 12-year-old boy and shoving him to the ground.
On Tuesday, that man went before a judge, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
It was the first sighting of suspect William Conte since the cellphone video surfaced. He was entering arraignment court with his attorney and his wife.
Conte, 39, is the Dix Hills father who charged into a preteen child, knocking him to the pavement and breaking his phone two months ago. He was allegedly angered at the boy’s behavior on his bicycle and videotaping of Conte’s wife.
“He had a concussion, twisted ankle, elbow ripped open, and they only got [Conte] on harassment charges,” said Christian Anderson, the victim’s father.
Many in the neighborhood say young bicycle riders here are known to play chicken with cars and swerve in ways that unnerve drivers, McLogan reported. In some Long Island communities bike stunt driving is a popular pastime. But Alex Anderson denied tossing a garter snake at the suspect’s wife, who was behind the wheel, and intimidating her in any way.
When asked if children were jumping in front of their car on that day, the Contes did not respond. But other drivers described to McLogan what they said they have often seen.
“When the woman’s picking up her children from school, they will surround the car with the bicycles and almost taunt her or taunt the people to hit them on the bikes, whether setting up for a lawsuit, or just having fun, or being typical kids,” Dix Hills parent Michael Shain said.
But no one would defend Conte’s alleged behavior. Alex Anderson’s father wished there had been a conversation first, or if someone had called the police, and added he is dissatisfied with the outcome.
“Just an order of protection, he’s not allowed to come near my son,” Christian Anderson said, adding when asked about the possibility of upgraded charges, “Not as of yet. Hopefully they will be. He needs to be taught a lesson.”
For now, Conte, a successful restaurant manager, has been charged with harassment and criminal mischief.
The 12-year-boy has recovered from his injuries, but his parents did not bring him to court.