A Sayville teenager suffered a fractured skull and other head injuries after he, his brothers and friends were attacked by several men they had met in the hamlet to settle a dispute started on social media, Suffolk police said.
Dominick Palumbo, 18, of Sayville and a freshman at SUNY Maritime College, remained hospitalized Wednesday after the attack early Saturday in the parking lot of the Land's End events facility on Browns River Road in Sayville, Suffolk police said.
On Tuesday, Suffolk police arrested Luciano Derenzo, 22, of Bohemia, and charged him with second-degree assault in connection with the attack on Palumbo. Derenzo was arraigned Wednesday in First District Court in Central Islip and held on $40,000 cash or $80,000 bond. He is due back in court Monday.
The altercation occurred just before 1 a.m. Saturday when the groups of men in their late teens and early 20s met in the parking lot to settle the dispute, said detectives from Suffolk's Fifth Squad.
Derenzo lifted Palumbo off the ground by his shirt and threw him headfirst into the asphalt, fracturing his skull, causing a brain bleed and a severe concussion, according to charging documents. Derenzo told police he went to the parking lot to pick up a friend and that when he saw the fight he tried to help, the charging documents state.
"Luciano Derenzo was not involved in the dispute the Palumbo brothers sought to settle at Land's End, and we look forward to the opportunity to establish his innocence in court," said Arthur Burdette, Derenzo's defense attorney.
Susan Palumbo, the victim's mother, described her son's injuries as "devastating" and said he, his brothers, and some friends were ambushed by a larger group. She said her son is conscious and coherent and does not appear to have suffered permanent brain damage.
The fight stemmed from "smack talk" on Snapchat between Dominick and a group of young men from the neighborhood, she said. Dominick, his older brothers John, 23, and Daniel, 21, as well as some friends, agreed to meet in the parking with the other men to resolve the dispute, Susan Palumbo said.
"But when they showed up it turned into an ambush because there was more of them than there were of my kids," she said. "They were completely outnumbered."
Susan Palumbo said several perpetrators held John and Daniel back while another man pulled Dominick through an open window and began beating him. She said at least three men participated in the attack.
Suffolk police, questioned about other potential suspects, said the investigation is ongoing.
"If you have information come forward," said Susan Palumbo, who added that her son will likely miss the remainder of the semester as he recovers from his injuries. "Just because it happened to my kid doesn't mean it won't happen again."