Willie and Alfie Marshall say they told the employees that something was wrong with their slices of pizza. But, instead of giving them a refund or a new slice, the employees stomped the couple out while spewing racial slurs at them.
Willie Marshall said last Saturday’s visit to Paesano II Pizza in Greenlawn was the most shocking thing of his life. The trip ended with an injury to his eye, while leaving his wife with blood on her shirt and shoes and an injury to her head too graphic to show on television.
“He stomped me in my face again, then he made a racial slur — I don’t want to say it on the air, I don’t want to do that,” Willie Marshall said.
The Marshalls said it all began when they complained about their two slices of pizza, which the couple said was stuck to the bag it was packed in. The Marshalls said the workers there refused to correct the problem or issue a refund and began cursing and screaming.
The Marshalls claim they turned to leave before the men at the counter, brothers Frank and Michael Meringolo, mocked them, threw a salt or pepper shaker at Mrs. Marshall, hit Mr. Marshall and used ugly language, the local CBS affiliate reported.
The pizzeria employees were charged with misdemeanor assault.
“We don’t deserve this, and nobody else deserves this either,” Alfie Marshall said.
“The allegations as they appear to be, that one of the employees had said ‘This is for Obama.’ You tell me what that means?” said the Marshalls’ attorney, J. Stewart Moore.
“He used the ‘N’ word. He said [expletive] this is for Obama,” Willie Marshall added.
The attorney for the pizzeria’s owner said Marshall threw a jar of Parmesan cheese at his clients, not the other way around as claimed, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported.
The Meringolo brothers also claimed Alfie Marshall was hurt inadvertently when her husband ran and bumped her into the door and that no racial slurs were uttered.
“The allegation by Mr. and Mrs. Marshall that the incident on Nov. 24 was quote a racial attack or an Obama backlash is completely untrue,” defense attorney Richard Toscani said.
The Marshalls are members of the Joshua Baptist Cathedral. Bishop Stephanie B. Riddle-Green said she was astonished an incident such as this happened on Long Island.
“I’m flabbergasted — if I could use that word. I’m flabbergasted that this is happened in 2012. Our president is President Barack Obama,” she said.
The pizzeria employees claim Willie Marshall initiated the altercation. He said he was peaceful until he saw his wife was injured.
“As I was going out the door, there were some chairs standing there, and quite naturally, when I saw the blood I got very angry and I kicked the chairs,” he said.
The Marshalls said they may file a lawsuit. Their church is planning a peaceful protest march at the pizzeria next week.
At first, the district attorney did not classify the incident as a bias crime, but later Friday afternoon, prosecutors announced they were referring the case back to the Suffolk County Police Department for further investigation.