Gainesville Police arrested a man early Thursday morning after he punched a paralyzed Marine veteran who wore a Halloween costume he thought mocked wounded soldiers.
Police charged Christopher Dabney, 22, of 111 NW 16th St., with abuse of a disabled adult, which is a felony, according to a GPD arrest report.
For Halloween, Daniel Priotti dressed up as a soldier, donning a camouflage uniform and fake blood on his face.
At about 2:20 a.m., Priotti, a 35-year-old Gainesville resident and disabled U.S. Marine veteran, was in line at the Pita Pit off West University Avenue when Dabney, wearing pantyhose and a pink tutu, walked into the restaurant.
Police said Priotti’s costume offended Dabney, who thought Priotti’s wheelchair was part of the outfit.
Johnny Mnayarji, a 19-year-old Pita Pit employee, said the two men exchanged a few words before Dabney suddenly attacked Priotti.
“He really pulled his arm back and punched him,” Mnayarji said. “The second time (Priotti) got hit, he melted off the chair.”
Dabney then shouted at Priotti as he lay on the floor. He called him a fake then went outside to the parking lot.
Moments later, GPD officers arrived and arrested Dabney and booked him into Alachua County Jail at about 3 a.m. Thursday.
He was released later that day.
Contact Chris Alcantara at [email protected].