Flyers fan, bar sued by N.J. cop for drunken beating outside Geno's

Neal Auricchio Jr.
Neal Auricchio Jr.
Posted: January 25, 2013

A New Jersey police officer, who was viciously beaten by a drunken Flyers fan last year outside Geno's Steaks, filed suit Thursday against his attacker and the South Philly bar who served the attacker.

Neal Auricchio, 31, was an off-duty officer for the Woodbridge Police Department when he came to Philadelphia on Jan. 2 2012 to attend the NHL Winter Classic that pitted the Flyers against the Rangers.

After the game, the Iraqi war veteran and a friend - who both were wearing Rangers jerseys - drove to the South Philly restaurant for a celebratory cheesesteak. They were standing in line when Dennis Veteri, 32, of Glassboro approached wearing a Flyers jersey.

In a video captured on a bystander's cellphone, Auricchio can be seen extending his arms as if trying to make peace before sustaining what police called a "brutal, vicious beating" that continued after he was knocked to the sidewalk and lost consciousness. The attack left Auricchio with a concussion and required a titanium plate to rebuild his face.

According to the civil suit, Veteri had paid a $226.70 bar bill at the nearby South Philly Bar & Grill only 20 minutes before the attack.

The suit seeks damages of at least $50,000 and alleges the bar, owned by Kenny's Inc., continued to serve Veteri alcohol long after he was clearly intoxicated. Under Pennsylvania's Dram Shop Act, a bar is forbidden to serve someone who is visibly inebriated.

Auricchio told NJ.com he was upset that Veteri, who confessed to attack, only received a minimum of 11 1/2 months of house arrest as punishment for the beating.

"The main goal today is justice," Auricchio said.


Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796, @samwoodiii or samwood@phillynews.com.

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