Suspect in 'Winter Classic' brawl posts higher bail

PHILADELPHIA - January 18, 2012

The bail for Dennis Veteri, 32, was raised to a total of $400,000 on Wednesday morning after a new bail hearing was held at the request of the Philadelphia District Attorney's office.

Veteri was immediately taken into custody. However, Veteri posted the new bail amount by Wednesday afternoon. Before Wednesday's proceedings, Veteri had been free after posting the lower bail of $100,000.

He has been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person.

The charges stem from what is described by police as a "vicious beating" on an off duty Woodbridge, New Jersey police officer and Iraq war veteran back on January 2, 2012 outside Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia.

The fight between fans of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers was caught on video and posted online.

After reviewing the video and talking to witnesses, police say it is clear that the fight was instigated by Viteri and his associates.

The police officer, identified as Neal Auricchio, received a concussion and severe facial damage, which will require facial reconstructive surgery. The former Marine earned a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq in 2007.

Police said the video prompted tips that eventually led them to Veteri by way of a credit card receipt from another restaurant at the intersection that was paid just before the fight.

Police say Veteri is no stranger to law enforcement. Online court records show Veteri has a history of arrests in Philadelphia, including a guilty plea following a 1998 aggravated assault arrest.

Police are still looking for at least two others involved in the beating. The investigation continues.

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