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  • By: Kevin Leckerman, Esq.
  • Published: January 16, 2012
one policeman is injured and other one is assisting him - Leckerman Law, LLC

Officer Neal Arruchio and his companion had no idea about the terrible turn of events they were about to face as they headed out to enjoy a South Philly cheesesteak while wearing his Ranger’s jersey. Arruchio was off duty and out for an evening to enjoy the match between the Rangers and Flyers. At Geno’s Steaks they ran into serious trouble when the encountered Dennis Veteri an obviously rabid Flyers fan.

Powerful Video Evidence Helping to Build a Powerful Case

In video captured at the scene it is evident Arruchio was trying to bring their disagreement to an end and calm the situation when suddenly Veteri started throwing punches. Veteri continued the assault after Arruchio was on the floor.

Arruchio sustained multiple injuries from the attack including a concussion, eye injuries, and facial bone damage. The off duty officer will need reconstructive surgery in order to correct the damage sustained in the attack.

Veteri did not act alone in this battle. He was joined by two other men who the police are currently trying to locate. There have been no official charges filed on these two additional men. They are being sought for questioning and to determine their involvement in the attack. Veteri has a long history of violence in both Philadelphia and Florida with aggravated assault, battery, and drug charges in both states.

Dennis Veteri has been charged with numerous crimes for this attack which include:

  • 2 Counts – Aggravated Assault
  • 2 Counts – Conspiracy
  • 2 Counts – Simple Assault
  • 2 Counts – Reckless Endangerment
    The two sets of charges are due to the attack on Arruchio’s companion, also. The conspiracy charges come from his enrolling the assistance of his friends in this brutal attack.

The One Intelligent Move of Veteri

Veteri knew he was in serious trouble with the police immediately and sought the advice of a Philadelphia defense attorney. He was arrested by the police in his attorney’s office and the later released on a $100,000 bond. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has returned to the judge requesting a review of the bond amount. It is their belief the bail is not set high enough to deter Veteri from attempting to flee.

When paired with Veteri’s previous criminal convictions he could be facing very stiff sentencing guidelines. It is possible Veteri will face Pennsylvania’s second strike for a violent crime which has a mandatory sentence of 10 years. Facing two separate charges could potentially lengthen the time to 25 years. This is a crucial point Veteri needs to discuss with his defense attorney to determine if this one event represents just his second strike or his third strike since the sentencing guidelines are dramatically different.

The factor of assaulting an off-duty police officer paired with the strong video evidence may make the District Attorney’s office very reluctant to accept any pleas for leniency in the case. The case will be an interesting one to keep a close eye on as it proceeds through trial and sentencing. Hopefully officer Arruchio heals rapidly and is able to return to duty quickly.

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