Jury acquits man of assault in fatal Wantagh bar fight
The mother of a Levittown volunteer firefighter who died after a bar fight said justice wasn't served Thursday when a jury acquitted a man of assaulting her late son.
But the attorney representing Robert Roll, 31, of Baldwin, who faced a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault, said his client acted in self-defense.
"The jury verdict today confirmed that my client's actions were lawful," attorney Phil Solages said after the trial ended in Hempstead District Court.
Keith Satriana, 45, went into a coma and died in a hospital 17 days after the October 2012 incident as a result of brain injuries "sustained in the fight," according to authorities.
The fight happened outside Shooters Tiki & Sports Bar in Wantagh, where authorities said Roll punched Satriana in the head. Satriana fell, striking his head on the pavement.
Satriana's death was the only 2012 homicide that police in Nassau and Suffolk counties investigated in which at least one person was arrested but no murder or manslaughter charges were filed, Newsday reported previously.
Satriana's family has urged prosecutors to file more serious charges against Roll. But Shams Tarek, a spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, said after the verdict that the case was closed.
"We prosecuted this case to the fullest extent of the law using the evidence that the court permitted at trial, and we're disappointed by the outcome, but we respect the jury's verdict," he said.
A legal expert told Newsday in March 2013 that based on the evidence authorities had laid out in court papers at that time, it would have been difficult for prosecutors to justify a manslaughter or murder case.
Satriana's ex-wife, who is raising their 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, said she'll try to get justice through a wrongful-death lawsuit she has filed.
Satriana's mother said she and her husband also may pursue a civil claim. "This kid should've went down for manslaughter," Barbara Satriana said of Roll. "An injustice was done. This was not self-defense."