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Bagel store owner: Attacked customer released from hospital

08/20/2016 1:55 PM |

Bean_Bagel

The customer who was brutally attacked Friday outside Bean & Bagel Café in Calverton has been released from the hospital, according to the store’s owner.

Bean & Bagel Café owner Joanne Leibold said the 69-year-old victim, whose name hasn’t been released, returned Saturday to pick up his car, though he wasn’t able to drive.

Riverhead Town police said the victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of facial injuries sustained during the attack.

Philip Puglisi, 23, of Coram attacked the victim outside the bagel shop just after 1 p.m. Friday, police said.

Ms. Leibold said the victim was eating at a table outside when Mr. Puglisi exited a taxi.

After a short argument with the taxi driver, Mr. Puglisi turned on the customer, Ms. Leibold said, adding she wasn’t sure why he was targeted.

During the assault, the middle of the cement bench the victim was sitting on snapped.

“It takes a lot to break those benches — they’re cement,” Ms. Leibold said.

She said she rushed outside and yelled at Mr. Puglisi to leave the victim alone. The suspect then grabbed two suitcases and ran off into the woods, she said.

“It all happened within five minutes,” she added.

Police later found Mr. Puglisi and arrested him. He was charged with second-degree assault, a class D felony.

He was arraigned in Riverhead Justice Court was held in the Suffolk County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, according to police.

Ms. Leibold said her coworkers had just remarked before the attack what a gentleman the customer was, since he left money in the business’ donation jars. She was shocked that such an attack happened in Calverton, so close to home.

“They say these things happen everywhere, but I never thought it’d happen here,” she said.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the assailant in several references. We regret the error and apologize for the misinformation.

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Photo: A view of the area outside Bean & Bagel Cafe where the attack occurred Friday afternoon. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

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