The former owner of the Thatched Cottage catering hall said Sunday he is devastated at the sale of the property and did not attempt suicide last week in a Huntington parking lot.
In his first interview since officials said he was hospitalized after being found unconscious and doused in gasoline in a vehicle last Tuesday, Ralph Colamussi said he has "so much to live for" and plans to volunteer internationally.
In a phone interview from the hospital, Colamussi said people "shouldn't listen to rumors" about what happened in the parking lot of the Thai USA restaurant, but he declined to elaborate further on what transpired that day.
An official at the Huntington Community First Aid Squad said Wednesday that Colamussi was the person police found when they responded to a suspected attempted suicide on Sept. 23.
Colamussi said he expects to get out of the hospital in about a week, but declined to say in which hospital he is staying.
Instead, he said he was heartbroken over the loss of the Thatched Cottage, which he owned in Centerport for 26 years. It was auctioned for $4.65 million the day after Colamussi was rushed to Huntington Hospital.
"I lost 30 years of my life; 15 million dollars of business," he said. "I'm devastated. Every personal possession I own is in the Cottage. They took everything, my whole life."
Colamussi has blamed some of his financial woes on flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene and superstorm Sandy.
He borrowed about $3 million for repairs, and his debt became insurmountable when combined with the $630,000 he owes in state sales taxes.
Colamussi said his daughter was married at the Thatched Cottage earlier this year and he's excited to become a grandfather.
"I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life," he said.