Selectman bloodied in bar fight

Last modified: 6/9/2010 12:00:00 AM
The police have charged two men with simple assault after a Deering selectman said he was attacked without warning in a Weare bar at the end of April.

But the owner of Palmer's Tavern at 487 S. Stark Highway said yesterday bar patrons told him that Selectman John Greene provoked the tussle.

Aaron Lewis, 31, and Peter Fiascinaro, 32, both Weare residents, turned themselves in Saturday evening to the police for arrest on charges of simple assault, a misdemeanor. The men were released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and are due in Goffstown District Court on June 29 for arraignment.

Lewis and Fiascinaro couldn't be reached yesterday for comment. Neither had an attorney on record with the court.

Weare officers responded to Palmer's Tavern about 11:30 p.m. April 30 after a fight was reported and found Greene bleeding from the head, the police said in a news release.

Greene, 31, who owns General Dynamics Construction and is serving his first term on the Deering Board of Selectmen, said yesterday that he was eating that night at George's Pizza & Seafood with three workers.

After paying his employees for their work, Greene said, they left and he walked to the adjacent tavern, Palmer's, to finish his beer. On the porch, he said, he was approached by Lewis and Fiascinaro, whom Greene said he had never met before.

Lewis 'asked me if I had a problem,' Greene said. 'I got up out of my chair. I said, 'I don't have a problem' . . . and he started swearing at me from there. . . . And I said, 'Why don't I just leave?' and I started to walk away, and I got hit.'

Greene said Fiascinaro head-butted him and five or six people attacked him, with several trying to drag him into the tavern's parking lot. He said he was hit in the back of the head with a piece of glass, possibly an ashtray or bottle.

'I hit them a few times and they ended up letting me go, and I ran back into the bar,' Greene said. But, he said, bar employees declined to call the police or help him and told him to leave.

Greene said he then called 911 from his cell phone as the men attacking him 'ran away.'

'They weren't in the talking mood. They wanted to fight,' Greene said, adding, 'I have no idea why I was attacked.'

Greene speculated the men may have seen him pay his employees, and the attack may have been an attempted robbery. He said nothing was taken but he was left with a large gash on his lip and bruises on his head and body. He declined transport to the hospital so he could remain at the scene to help the police investigate, he said.

Lewis and Fiascinaro were identified and charged 'after an extensive investigation,' the Weare police said.

But George Hodgdon, owner of Palmer's Tavern and the adjoining pizza restaurant, said Greene 'was the guy that caused all the trouble' the night of April 30.

Hodgdon, who said he was washing dishes and didn't witness the fight, said there were 15 witnesses inside the bar who told him what happened. He said Greene came in 'feeling pretty good' and had three or four beers while 'trying to start fights with people.'

Eventually, Hodgdon said, Greene hit Fiascinaro, who hit him back and gave him a bloody nose.

'He smacked the guy and the guy smacked him back and that was the end of the fight,' Hodgdon said.

Greene called that version of events a 'crazy notion' and said he is planning a lawsuit against the bar.

Greene said he only entered the bar once to get a beer, which he took back to dinner, and offered to take a sobriety test after the police arrived but was told it wasn't necessary.

In the news release, the Weare police called Greene a victim. A police spokesman didn't return messages yesterday seeking more information.

Hodgdon said the late April incident was the bar's first fight since last summer.

Greene said he doesn't hold the incident against Deering's neighbor.

'It was a tragic incident and no reflection on the majority of the good people in Weare,' he said.


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