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Cops: Car scratch leads to parking lot assault

James Valente, 45, of Westbury, was arrested Saturday

James Valente, 45, of Westbury, was arrested Saturday in an alleged assault on a couple with whom he argued over a scratch on their car door in a Westbury parking lot. Valente is charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree criminal mischief, Nassau County Police said. (July 20, 2013) Photo Credit: NCPD

A Westbury man was arrested Saturday after Nassau County police said he assaulted a man and stole a cellphone from a woman after arguing with the couple about a scratch in their car door in a parking lot in Westbury.

Police said the male victim, 62, and the female victim, 57, were walking to their vehicle parked in the Home Depot parking lot at 1320 Corporate Dr. at 7:38 p.m. Saturday when they saw James Valente, 45, parked next to their vehicle with his door open and resting against theirs.

When the male victim saw a fresh scratch in the paint on his door, he began arguing with Valente, who then punched the victim on the side of his head, cutting it, police said.

As the woman began to take a picture of Valente with her cellphone, Valente grabbed the phone and pushed her to the ground, police said.

After a witness came up to them, Valente walked into the store, police said.

Police found Valente at his Longfellow Avenue home and arrested him. He was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree criminal mischief. At his arraignment on Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead, Valente was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is due back in court on Wednesday.

The male victim refused treatment at the scene, and no one else was reported injured.

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