(Seaside Heights Police Department)
NEW YORK (CBS) Sorry, "Snooki" -- it was the alcohol.
Queens, NY gym teacher Brad Ferro wants Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of MTV's "Jersey Shore" reality series to know he feels real bad about punching her in the face at a Jersey nightspot last summer. He says, "that was not the real Brad Ferro."
Photo: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi in undated photo.
Ferro, 24, who was found guilty of assault for the Aug. 19 incident, told The New York Post that the first time he saw the footage of himself punching Polizzi, "I was sick to my stomach…I can't believe that I'd ever do anything like that."
Photo: Brad Ferro Aug. 19 after being arrested in Seaside Heights, NJ
Ferro punched the petite 21-year-old Polizzi during filming of a "Jersey Shore" episode, knocking her to the floor of the Beachcomber Bar & Grill in Seaside Heights.
He said that before he was suspended from his teaching job, he used the experience to teach his students about bad decisions and the dangers of abusing alcohol.
"I remember very little from the time of the incident," Ferro told The New York Post from his lawyer's office in Long Island. "It's all fuzzy. I remember a punch -- I don't remember who or why and I remember being arrested."
Cast of MTV reality show "Jersey Shore."
Andrew Siben, Ferro's attorney, said he thought Ferro deserves a second chance because "he is a decent young man" who made a bad decision and is saddened at the prospect of losing his job over the incident.
Ferro said that he loves teaching and hopes that when he completes court-ordered anger-management classes the school system will give him a second chance.