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Rangers Fans Beaten in South Philadelphia ID Defendant During Preliminary Hearing

By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Glassboro, NJ man accused of brutally beating a New York Rangers fan after the Winter Classic last January was in court today for a preliminary hearing.

Defendant Dennis Veteri sat quietly as his accusers, Neil Auricchio and Mike Janocko, recounted their versions of the melee that erupted outside Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia.

The two Rangers fans testified that they were waiting in line for food when a group of Flyers fans that included Veteri attacked -- first verbally, then physically (see previous story).

Each man fingered Veteri as the instigator and main attacker.

Assistant DA Francis McCloskey tried to bolster their stories by showing the cell phone video of the brawl, but defense attorney Michael DeFino contends that the video will actually help his client.

"Everybody indicated that they were kicked," DeFino told KYW Newsradio after the hearing.  "The video is pretty clear -- nobody was ever kicked."

Veteri remains free on bail and faces a formal arraignment on April 12th.


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