An Islip town investigator was suspended after being arrested Tuesday on a charge of threatening a man at his home with an extendible baton during an argument, authorities said.
Stephen Badala, 53, of Ronkonkoma was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor, and released on station house bail, Suffolk police said.
Islip Terrace resident Sal Gulotta said he initially had an argument Monday with a town code enforcement officer who gave him a citation for parking his commercial van in his driveway.
Then Tuesday morning, Gulotta said, Badala arrived to confront him about the curses he threw at the code enforcement officer and give him four more citations, including one for a deck without a certificate of occupancy and three other issues that had existed before he bought the house.
“You think you’re a tough guy?” Badala could be heard saying in a recording made by Gulotta, and the two start repeating that or variations of it to each other during a curse-filled confrontation.
Then Badala took out a baton and extended it with a flip, the resident said.
“He had it under his shirt,” said Gulotta, 40. “He gestured toward me like he was going to hit my leg.”
The blow never came, Gulotta said, and at one point, Badala said he once had a “real badge,” meaning he was a retired NYPD officer.
Police arrived, followed by the town attorney, and during a three-hour incident, the officers encouraged Gulotta not to file charges.
“They were telling me if I wanted him to go to jail, I would go to jail as well,” Gulotta said.
Badala could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
In a statement provided to News 12 Long Island, Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said officials are cooperating with the police investigation: “The union has been made aware that he was immediately suspended. . . . The Town is fully cooperating with the Suffolk County Police Department as well as conducting its own internal investigation.”
Gulotta, who works as an oil burner technician, said he is consulting with an attorney to determine what can be done to fire Badala.
“A guy like that shouldn’t be working for Islip Town,” he said. “For acting the way he did today — for what, over a couple tickets, and now I’m being harassed?”