Main Line Teen Charged In Geno's Employee Attack

Originally Posted January 25, 2008

Investigators charged a 19-year-old from the Main Line with attempted murder Thursday in connection with last month's attack on a Geno's Steaks employee.

Detectives said Kevin M. Bacci, of Devon, turned himself in at about 1 a.m. Friday after flying home from school in Colorado.

Police sources told NBC 10 that detectives are making arrangements with another suspect to turn himself in sometime soon.

The alleged attack occurred two days after Christmas. Police later released surveillance video they said showed two men just before the assault on Tony Chestnut of the popular South Philadelphia cheesesteak stand.

According to police, Bacci was the man closest to the window in the video footage.

Police allege that the 19-year-old and another unidentified man harassed Chestnut. When the employee turned his back, one of them picked Chestnut up and flipped him onto his head twice.

"It's a vicious assault, and (they) should suffer the consequences," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Keith Sadler.

Chestnut broke an eardrum, two ribs, two bones in his back and his collarbone in the incident.

"A fight's one thing, but he tackled me when I turned my back and then picked me up and belly-to-back suplexed me onto the concrete," Chestnut told NBC 10 in a prior interview. "And then I found out that he did it a second time when I was already unconscious."

Suplex is a wrestling term. And Bacci happens to be a wrestler. There's a trophy at Conestoga High School that names him the "Most Skillful Wrestler" of the 2005-2006 season.

And on his My Space page he lists wrestling as one of the things he enjoys. Among the others, "getting cheesesteaks in Philly and doing stuff that I'm told not to."

The owner of Geno's Steaks said those two things seemed to come together in a vicious attack.

"He threw him down twice. You know, you want to claim an accident the first time, but what about that second time deliberately? That's the part that really bothered me," owner Joey Vento said.

Investigators charged Bacci with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering a person and terroristic threats.

He was arraigned at about 9 p.m. Friday night, and bail was set at 10 percent of $75,000.

Bacci's family attended the proceeding, as did two attorneys. His next scheduled court appearance will be a Jan. 31 preliminary hearing.

Chestnut still can't go back to work and said he's having more surgery on his shoulder next week.

"It's hard to see him this way, to be honest with you," Vento said. "But no one was expecting this to happen."

Vento said he's glad his surveillance system helped put pressure on the suspect to turn himself in.

"We are glad we have it. It shows everything," Vento said after showing NBC 10 the monitors for each video camera.

Contact Us