Bail Quadruples for Suspect in Winter Classic Fight

Victim speaks to media for the first time on the day a judge increased bail for the suspect

A Philadelphia judge quadrupled the bail for the New Jersey father of three accused of beating an off-duty police officer and Iraq war veteran after the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2.

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge pushed the bail for beating suspect Dennis Veteri from $100,000 to $400,000 and re-jailed the 32-year-old Wednesday. Three and half hours later, the Glassboro, N.J. resident was able to post 10 percent of the bail and was free again.

Veteri was arrested last week in connection with the fight between Rangers and Flyers fans outside Geno’s Steaks in South Philly after the game. The gruesome attack was caught on video.

The victim, Woodbridge Township, N.J., police officer Neal Auricchio, spoke about the attack for the first time Wednesday. In an interview with NBC New York, Auricchio had visible eye injuries more than two weeks later.

"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 that ends with Auricchio motionless on the ground.

"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."

Assistant District Attorney Caroline Keating-McGlynn made her argument for higher bail Wednesday by pointing to the final punch that broke the orbital bone in Auricchio’s face and knocked him unconscious, reported the Inquirer.

Auricchio still needs surgery to repair a fracture under his left eye, which is still red from the broken blood vessels he suffered during the attack, he said.

Defense attorney Michael DeFino complained the case is being blown out of proportion, reported the Inquirer.

Veteri is facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person charges. 

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