A Rockville Centre man was arrested Monday on charges he beat his in-laws after they called to tell him about a death in their family, prosecutors said.

William M. Verdi, 42, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree assault under the elder abuse clause, said Chris Munzing, a spokesman for Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. He was released on $500 bail, Munzing said.

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Verdi's lawyer, Joseph Milone, of Rockville Centre, did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. No one answered the door at Verdi's home, and a woman who answered the phone there would not comment. Prosecutors did not name the in-laws, saying they are subjects in a domestic violence case.

It all started July 21 when Verdi's 68-year-old mother-law, who was baby-sitting for Verdi's son, called to tell him about the death, court papers say.

Verdi -- identified by prosecutors as a psychologist -- was angry that she disturbed him, court papers say, and he and his wife went to her parents' Lynbrook home to pick up the child. The next day, the in-laws came to Verdi's house, and Verdi got into an argument with them, court papers say.

Verdi shouted at them and shoved his 68-year-old father-in-law into his mother-in-law, court papers say. Verdi then "pummeled" the man until Verdi's wife pulled him off, prosecutors said. Verdi pushed his in-laws out of the door of his home, knocking them both to the pavement, court papers said.

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His in-laws were treated at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside -- the man for a broken rib and the woman for three broken ribs and a fractured left elbow, according to court papers.