Winter Classic Fight Suspect to Face Trial

Trial for NJ man accused of assault in brawl between Flyers and Rangers fans to start in April

By Dan Stamm and Teresa Masterson
|  Thursday, Mar 22, 2012  |  Updated 4:52 PM EDT
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Bail Increase for Accused Winter Classic Fighter

Philadelphia Police

Dennis Veteri faces assault and other charges for being the accused instigator in the post-Winter Classic fight that left a Rangers fan hurt.

Photos and Videos

Rangers Fans Speaks on Beating

Neal Auricchio, the man brutally beaten by Flyers fans after the Winter Classic, tells his side of the story.

Bail Increased for Winter Classic Fight Suspect

A judge increased Winter Classic fight suspect Dennis Veteri's bail from $100,000 to $400,000 on Wednesday.
More Photos and Videos

The Flyers fan accused of beating up an off-duty police officer and Iraq war veteran in a Rangers jersey after the Winter Classic will go to trial on assault on other charges.

Dennis Veteri of Glassboro, N.J. was in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday. He didn't say anything during the short hearing.

The 32-year-old is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person in the Jan. 2 attack. He is set to be formally arraigned April 12, according to court documents.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the victims testified Thursday that Veteri was in a group of Flyers fans who taunted and assaulted them as they waited for sandwiches.

Veteri's attorney has said the case is a fistfight that's being blown out of proportion.

The brawl was captured on various Youtube videos. It shows a few Flyers fans beating up two Rangers fans outside of Geno's Steaks in South Philly on Jan. 2 following the Winter Classic game. The brawl ends with the victim, Woodbridge Township, N.J., Police Officer Neal Auricchio motionless on the ground.

Veteri was arrested and posted bail in January but later a Philadelphia judge quadrupled the bail for Veteri. A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge pushed the bail for the father of three from $100,000 to $400,000 and re-jailed Veteri on Jan. 18. Three and half hours later, the Glassboro, N.J. resident was able to post 10 percent of the bail and was free again.

Auricchio spoke about the attack in an interview with NBC New York earlier this year.

"They grabbed my friend Mike's hat, threw spit in it, they flipped a cigarette at him, they flipped one at me striking me in the mouth," Auricchio said.

The video of the fight posted online shows a verbal confrontation escalating into a brawl.

"I was overwhelmed by a mob and two to three guys starting punching me, kicking me," Auricchio told NBC New York. "I get back to my feet and that blindside punch knocks me unconscious."


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