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Attacker of Woodbridge Cop at Philly Hockey Game is Sentenced to House Arrest

The family of Woodbridge Patrolman Neal Auricchio, Jr.are astonished that Philly Flyers brawler Dennis Veteri didn't get jail time for the injuries he caused in January.


The Philly Flyers fanatic who beat up Woodbridge Police Officer Neal Auricchio, Jr. in January for supporting a rival hockey team and left him with a fractured eye socket received a sentence Friday that left the patrolman's family in shock.

Dennis Veteri, the brawler who put Auricchio in the hospital, was sentenced to up to 23 months of house arrest and five years' probation.

"I absolutely can't believe it. I am so disappointed in the criminal justice system," said Neal Auricchio, Sr., the father of the officer who was injured for being a New York Rangers fan while in Flyers territory.

Veteri, 33, of Glassboro, who plead guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy charges in the Auicchio case, had 11 prior arrests and four assault convictions. None of that persuaded Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler to give Veteri jail time for the beating.

"He's a good man who had a bad day," said Michael DeFino, Veteri's attorney, in a Philadelphia Daily News report on the sentencing.

His son spent the day in court to hear the sentencing and called to tell him the news, Auricchio, Sr. said. "I only spoke to him for 30 seconds. You could tell by how quiet he was how disappointed he was feeling" at the light sentence."

Auricchio, a huge Rangers fan, and his friend, Michael Janocko, had gone to Philadelphia on January 2 to cheer their team on in the Winter Classic. Outside a Geno's Steaks, Veteri escalated what should've been a friendly team rivalry into an attack on both Auricchio and Janocko. 

The Woodbridge patrolman was left unconscious and with a concussion adn fractured bones around his eye.

A spectator captured the attack on a video which soon went viral and helped lead to Veteri's arrest.

Auricchio's father said that a civil case against Veteri is already in the works, but it's small comfort with the light sentence. 

Veteri will be able to go to work, and to the doctor's and other necessary places deemed necessary. He is supposed to be fitted for an ankle monitor to gauge his fulfillment of his sentence.

"So much for meaningful justice in the city of brotherly love," said Auricchio, Sr. "What a travesty!"

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Tom Maras December 15, 2012 at 02:08 PM
First and foremost, it is hoped that Officer Auriccho has fully recovered from his injuries, is back on the job, and will enjoy a very Merry Christmas with family and friends. As to the Judge in PA??? Does she have a "Mothering" complex or was she, like so many other judges around our country, compelled to use house arrest, because the prisons are overloaded with even worse offenders. The following may provide some light as to why the sentencing was what it was: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110226/NEWS90/110229834/-1/rss01. And the next link addresses sentencing requirements (as of 2008) in PA. (http://fairlielaw.net/practice-areas/mandatory-sentencing/) Given Veteri's record, some "real justice" for his actions almost certainly lies in his future! Hopefully, his near future! Merry Christmas to Officer Auricchio Jr. and the entire Auricchio family.
Al McDorman December 15, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Another facet to note in the judicial processing of this repeatedly violent sports fan is that he no doubt has a job and, if allowed to work (by being on the bracelet), he can pay Aurrichio's pain and suffering tab because that civil suit is a no brainer. Remember, even OJ Simpson was found guilty in civil court. This drunk has a history of low impulse control and assault. Now that he's under Probation's ISP (presumeably), he can be monitored for drugs, alcohol, and payment of fines. Nonpayment of a civil fine can lead to his Probation time being converted to prison time. His attorney though is a liar given the assailant's history.
John Porcellana December 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM
A repeat violent offender! What a miscarriage of justice! This joke of a judge should be removed from the bench. Disgusting!
Irina December 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM
This is terrible, The REPEAT offender deserved jail, not this pansy-a$$ sentence. It's a shame this office didn't have his service firearm with him, then this monster would've really gotten what he rightfully deserves. I do hope Officer Auriccho has fully recovered and wishing him and his family a Happy Holiday.
BobDee December 16, 2012 at 01:22 AM
"Veteri had 11 prior arrests and four assault convictions" "He's a good man who had a bad day," Are these red flags? I hope he doesn't live around a school or mall or movie theater...Does he have firearms??? What if he has "another bad day?" Just sayin o_0

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