Former NBC10 anchor Vince DeMentri was arrested Thursday night in New York for allegedly slapping the driver of the Bahamian United Nations ambassador, the New York Daily News is reporting.
Hurley Senanayake, 54, told police Wednesday that DeMentri, 46, now a reporter with WPIX/Channel 11 in New York struck him after the two argued over a parking space. Senanayake was treated at a Queens hospital for a cut lip, said the New York Post which first reported the alleged attack. DeMentri surrendered to police the next day, and has been charged with third-degree assault.
"The allegations are false," DeMentri's attorney Joseph Tacopina told us Friday afternoon. "This is a money play as evidenced by the fact that the complainant is claiming his arm is numb based on a claim that Vince 'slapped' him in the face! I hope the complaininant has been informed of the laws of perjury," said Tacopina.
DeMentri, who did not return a request for comment this morning, is reported to be off-air at 'PIX for the time being. The station says it's conducting its own investigation into the matter.
Although DeMentri says he has never been convicted of a crime, this is not his first brush with the law. He was arrested two days after 9/11 for impersonating a federal agent to gain access to an area that was blocked off to reporters. He was also named by former colleague Lori Delgado in a police report in which she alleged that he had vandalized her car and taken other belongings from her in the station's Bala Cynwyd studio. DeMentri and his lawyer both said he hadn't touched her car or taken any of her stuff. As we reported in 2008 the pair, who were both married to other people at the time, had an affair that ended very badly. Both DeMentri and Delgado left NBC10 in 2008. DeMentri sued the station which later issued a public statement praising him.
This story has been updated.