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Man accused of beating up Saddle Rock mayor

Sasha Masri, 32, has been charged with assault

Sasha Masri, 32, has been charged with assault and possession of a dangerous weapon and has been prohibited from having any contact with Mayor Dan Levy, police said. (Oct. 3, 2012) Credit: NCPD

A failed candidate for Saddle Rock trustee was freed from lockup Friday on charges he beat up the mayor after the village's monthly meeting.

Sasha S. Marsi, 32, is accused of punching the mayor, Dr. Dan Levy, in the head and body-slamming him into a bench as the two argued Wednesday evening over village politics.

An arraignment judge, Christopher Quinn of First District Court, set bail at $750, which Marsi's parents paid. Quinn also signed a protective order barring Marsi from contacting Levy. Marsi emerged from custody Friday afternoon to hugs and a kiss from his mother.

According to court papers, Levy needed 14 stitches for a head injury, and his shoulder was fractured in three places.

Levy, who's an ophthalmologist, writhed in pain Friday afternoon as he hobbled to Village Hall. He had a visible wound on his forehead and his arm was in a sling.

"It's sad," Levy said. "It's really sad."

Through his attorney, Meir Moza of Mineola, Marsi denied the charges -- felony assault and three misdemeanors: assault, possession of a dangerous weapon -- a set of keys police say Marsi held in his fist when he threw the punch -- and criminal possession of a controlled substance -- a Suboxone pill police found in Marsi's pants pocket. Suboxone is a prescription for opioid addiction. Marsi's next court date is Oct. 23.

Marsi ran unsuccessfully in March on the New Generation line for a trustee seat for the 300-family village, located on Nassau's North Shore, near Great Neck. He plans to run again.

According to Moza's account, Levy and Marsi were arguing face to face, and the mayor "started calling him names, cursed his mother." Marsi feared for his safety, "there was pushing, someone slapped each other and then it escalated," and the 57-year-old mayor put Marsi in "a grip and chokehold."

Moza blamed the situation on "bad blood" between Marsi and Levy, "an issue of ongoing dispute between them" fueled by allegations by Marsi, an out-of-work accountant. "He's taken it upon himself to make sure that the improprieties, that the corruption, is going to be exposed, and because of his actions, because of his complaint, the state comptroller is actually doing an investigation and doing an audit."

Neither Moza nor Marsi would elaborate, but asked about the claims, state comptroller spokesman Brian Butry said the office is not auditing the village.

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