MAHOPAC – A Mahopac father has been arrested after he allegedly punched and spat on a varsity lacrosse team coach who cut his daughter from the girls team.
Alfonso DiFusco, 46, was charged Tuesday with second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment before Justice Joseph J. Spofford Jr. in Carmel Town Court.
The coach, Jim Lieto, alleges that DiFusco attacked him outside Mahopac High School on March 13 after Lieto trimmed his team’s roster during spring tryouts.
District Superintendent Brian Monahan confirmed the incident occurred about 8 p.m. in front of the school. The area has surveillance cameras and Monahan said footage was given to Carmel police.
Lieto, who has coached lacrosse at the school for more than a decade, was not badly harmed, said John Augusta, the Mahopac athletic director, who was at the high school that night as the administrator on duty for a school concert but did not witness the incident.
DiFusco allegedly stopped Lieto’s vehicle and yelled at the coach before reaching inside and punching, then spitting on him. He also reportedly tried to take Lieto’s cellphone before a student pulled him away.
The Putnam County District Attorney’s Office could decide to bring additional charges against DiFusco, who is scheduled to return to Carmel Town Court on April 21. At Tuesday’s arraignment, Spofford issued an order of protection requiring DiFusco to stay away from Lieto.
Fourth-degree criminal mischief is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Second-degree harassment is a violation, punishable by up to 15 days in jail.