NYDN – A dispute over the television in the outer-borough eatery led to an ugly fight that left one man missing a chunk gnawed out of his ear, police and witnesses said. Chomper Thomas Tomasello, 52, was busted for felony assault after beating and biting Nicholas Cacace on the sidewalk outside the Oakwood Diner on Amboy Road, cops said. “He chewed his ear – he must have been hungry,” one witness said with a laugh. “He must have been reading about that cannibal down in Miami or something.” According to the witness, the trouble began when the 35-year-old Cacace – who has a history of drug arrests – changed the channel at the diner Wednesday afternoon from an oldies music station to ESPN. The diner regular was soon getting an earful from finger-waving fellow patron Louise Newhman, an ex-waitress who called her husband. Pizzeria owner Tomasello showed up and soon had a mouthful – taken from chunk of Cacace’s ear as they rolled around on the ground. But first, the witness said, Tomasella used a small souvenir Yankees bat to smack Cacace around. “He hit him with the bat about four to five times in the back of the head and back,” the witness said. Just like former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson did to Evander Holyfield, Tomasello tore off a ragged chunk of his opponent’s ear. Tomasella has been arrested in the past for patronizing a prostitute, violating an order of protection and criminal contempt. He made headlines three years ago by filing a $40 million lawsuit to block a competing pizzeria from opening too close to his Staten Island business.
Changing the channel in a public place is always an awkward situation. Happens all the time at the bar. Can’t tell you how many dirty looks I’ve gotten at the bar over the years when I ask for the bartender to change the channel to watch the Mets who were like 30 games under .500 at the time. Or the worst is asking someone to change the channel from soccer. There’s always like 1 or 2 Mexicans who were actually watching that look like they’re ready to shank you. Earlier this year I saw a guy fully engrossed in a Rangers playoff game and some dude changed the channel to the Knicks blowout and I thought he was going to murder everyone with his bare hands.
Louise Newhman has gotta chill the fuck out though. You were “watching” the oldies music station. Its a fucking television babe, not a radio. And you’re at a diner where a generic channel like ESPN is the most logical choice. Lets ease up with calling your 60 year old boyfriend like he’s a Mandelbaum or something. Beating up people with a baseball bat and eating their fucking ears because you wanted to listen to some Frankie Valli at the diner. How fucking “Staten Island” can you get? Some old bird in a diner calls her pizzeria owner boyfriend to come rough some guy up with a bat because he was disrespecting The Four Seasons and Bobby Darin.