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Long IslandCrime

Man punched for singing patriotic songs on Fourth of July, Nassau police say

A Valley Stream man was arrested Tuesday and charged in connection with the assault of a man police said he attacked for singing "patriotic songs," including "God Bless America," at a roadside gathering in Island Park on the Fourth of July.

Nassau County police said Noel Fernandez, 21, "became irate" and "suddenly punched" the 38-year-old victim in the face after taking offense to the victim and his friends singing the songs Saturday night outside a restaurant at 15 Railroad Place. The area is between the Long Beach Bridge and the Long Island Rail Road Bridge just north of Wreck Lead Channel, which separates Island Park and Long Beach.

Police could not immediately say if people were in the area to watch fireworks or were just out because it was July 4. The incident occurred at 10:48 p.m., police said.

Police said the attack followed a dispute after Fernandez took offense to the singing and that it appears the incident was otherwise random and unprovoked. The victim sustained a head injury, neck pain and a "minor" abrasion to his right hand.

Fernandez was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on a third-degree assault charge and his case was adjourned until a future date. It was not immediately clear if he was represented by counsel.

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