An incident at Palm Coast’s Italian-American Club Friday, involving an allegation of inappropriate touching of a 19-year-old waitress by a 64-year-old patron, escalated into a confrontation between a member of the club’s board and the patron. The board member ended up in the hospital with serious injuries. The patron faces a battery charge.
The incident happened during a bridal party at which Joseph Leonetti was a guest. Louis Monico, who sits on the club’s board, had walked back to the kitchen and seen one of his waitresses in tears. He asked her what had happened. She said Leonetti had made an unwanted physical advance: she’d been clearing a table next to Leonetti’s, who told her that if she’d been fast enough she’d have gotten a $20 tip. Leonetti then allegedly “stuck his finger in the right side of her pants and began rubbing his finger back and forth against her skin,” according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s incident report. “This advance made her feel extremely uncomfortable and was completely unwanted,” the report states.
Monico, 67, immediately went to Leonetti’s table and asked to speak to him outside. Once outside, Monico told Leonetti he had to leave the premises because of the alleged incident. Leonetti got angry and the two men got into a verbal altercation. Leonetti chest-bumped Monico, according to the report, and the two men started pushing against each other.
The report cites a witness–John Pollinger, a retired police chief who frequents the Italian-American Club–describing Monico trying to forcibly remove Leonetti from the property, then Leonetti shoving Monico with “great force,” causing Monico to fall backward and strike his head, hip and knee on stonework.
Deputies could not speak to Monico at the hospital Friday evening as he was under heavy sedation, having sustained severe injuries that would require him to be admitted. The next day, Monico described the incident but said he did not wish to pursue charges. (Leonetti would have faced a charge of battery on a person 65 or older, a felony.)
But a criminal charging affidavit was forwarded to the state attorney’s office for the alleged battery on the waitress and Leonetti was trespassed from the Italian American Club. Leonetti had also gone to Florida Hospital Flagler Friday evening for treatment, separately, but declined to speak with deputies without his attorney. Leonetti was not booked at the county jail.
On July 11 he was booked at the jail on a drunk driving charge and a charge of resisting an officer without violence. He had been pulled over a short distance from the Italian American Club–he lives in the immediate vicinity of the club–shortly after midnight that night, where a deputy had observed him making a wrong turn into oncoming traffic. The charge is pending. Leonetti was found guilty of drunk driving in 2009.
Jon Hardison says
It’s a stereotype. And it’s offensive. There is no Italian-American Club.
Barbara Kipnis says
The sign in front of the building says “Italian American Club.”
Drive by and read the sign. This type of behavior is ordained by the Donald so nothing to see here folks
Katie Semore says
No Italian American Club? Look at the sign in front. Why is it offensive? What is offensive is a dirty old man who thinks it is ok to stick his fingers in a young lady’s pants.
This guy sounds like a bully with a short fuse and drinking problem–not a good combo.
Heather Williams says
It’s literally called the Italian-American Club. It says it on the sign out front. It’s pictured above. So, yes, there is indeed an Italian-American Club. No “stereotype”.
Apparently, you do not frequent the F-Section of Palm Coast. There most certainly IS an Italian-American club, and the members are quite proud to say they belong–they pay some pretty hefty membership dues to belong there.
But all that aside, regardless of how much is paid in membership dues, this type of behavior is NOT acceptable. Not. Ever.
Jolene R Dehart says
Totally shocked at the great concerned argument over whether or not there is an “Italian American Club”. Not a care for the young lady, the injured man or the disgusting behavior of the molester. That my friends, is what wrong with this country.
What’s offensive about it ?? Are you trying to say the Italian or American is offensive .. I’m a proud Italian American and that’s that … If you don’t frequent Old Kings Road that’s were it is …. The only offensive thing is this man putting his hands were they don’t belong …. I hope the gentleman who helped will be ok and the young lady who this happened to knows all men aren’t creeps ….
Born and Raised Here says
Italian American Club ? Sounds to me like a bunch of Northeners. I don’t have any of us native Floridians who go to this club. Isn’t this like Old School ?
Leonetti.,as far as I’m concerned is a perv and needs to be labeled as one.
Born and Raised Here says
So let me get this straight. This is a Italian/American Club. So I assume I have to be of Italian descent to belong there ? I thought these kind of clubs went out of existance decades ago.
Cause Potus does it, now copy cats.
Great move trespassing that jerk from the club. He doesn’t belong there.
My sincere best wishes to the brave Mr. Monico for a soon recovery and to that young lady trying to make a living my sincere wishes also that she can put this incident off her mind because we have better people than this creep among us.
Jon Hardison says
Apparently I broke this post.
So no Sopranos fans here.
Let me put this in prospective for you if this man touches anyone woman or man or child without permission in a way that make you feel uncomfortable he is in the wrong it doesn’t matter if he is Italian american or any other ethnicity You just don’t do that and the fact that he was not cahrge and than arrested days later shows what kind of person he is. Point end done finito! 0
Our president said this kind of thing is fine he does it. Well that’s what he said anyway so what’s the big deal?
county worker says
John must be trolling for some drama in the comments, or trying to be funny.
As a true Italian-American, I am offended by your comment. The building in PC is real too, some call it a ‘sanctuary.’ Russian-Americans and African-Americans exist too, and none should be offended.
It only took three comments in for it to be Trump’s fault!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The Board member should have called 911 immediately. Its not the first time at the rodeo for the alleged perv.Throw him out for lack of moral turpitude.
This would never happen at the ELKS lmao dooooooohhhhh
If you watched the people coming out of this club, as well as the other fine “clubs”, and stumbling to their vehicles to drive home, I don’t think there would be anyone making jokes. On a number of occasions I have had people pull out of this little “Club” in front of me and the proceed to weave down the road. You should be very proud of yourselves, and your “members”.And I don’t really care what your family heritage is, it is simply irrelevant.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the local trumpsters encourage this perv to run for public office. Seems like his moral character is line with the cowardly president trump.
Concerned Citizen says
So this perv gets away with it? He should be charged accordingly. We need to stop giving free passes to pervs and start sending stronger messages. Leonetti is lucky the young lady’s father didn’t show up and handle it.
He should also be charged for putting someone in the hospital that was trying to look out for his staff. Mr. Monico did no one any favors by not pressing charges. Now this creep gets to have another chance doing it somewhere else.
@john hardison No John the stereotyping and offensiveness is exhibited at The Chump Club recently held meeting in Palm Coast
No More Alcohol says
Where is the Irish-American Club located here in Palm Coast ? Oh Danny Boy !
Lillian Bellitto says
If you don’t know what your talking about, you should not say anything… It’s a wonderful, Wonderful club.. I have been a member for thirty two years. This was an outside party.
Jon q public says
Why is anyone surprised? Palm Coast is thick with “Italian Americans.” All equally obnoxious. All loud and proud, the most boorish crowd. Welcome to the south. Take it down a notch, then natives already are weary. No, seriously. Stay in Jersey.. PLEASE??!?
Lillian, I stand by my statement that I have seen a number of drunks leaving this CLUB driving DRUNK.
Sopranos whats that lol
It makes me laugh every time I hear “native ” Floridians complain about New York and Jersey people. Talk about loud and obnoxious ,what about southerners with their loud trucks and motorcycles. Please, give me a break.
Lillian Bellitto says
For those of you that think our president would like this kind of behavior , it’s like saying” The Hillary” would “wack” the guy. And the Dues we pay.. only one hundred dollars. it’s the best deal in town, where can you go and dance to great bands,sit all night for free. Our club is open Tues & Fri evenings you can sing & dance. And as for the stumbling, maybe it’s not only members, could be guests, could be outside party’s (like this one was) So people don’t put everyone into one bunch, You see that sign also states American Club. Irish, German, Russian, Polish.Al are welcome. And if you think we are boorish, well PLEASE stay away, we wouldn’t want you to have a great time as the rest of us do.
joe schmo says
Trump? whether or not there is an Italian American club? Seriously people? A young woman, and an “elderly” man were assaulted, can we stick to the facts? This guy seems like a real menace, lets keep him off the streets!
first of all I hope the young woman involved is okay, and it staying strong. good for her manager/boss for stepping in when she felt like she didn’t have a voice. it blows my mind that even in this day and age, men AND women think it’s okay to make unwanted advances on others without permission. leave each other alone and live peacefully. I see some replies involving our president and him too could definitely use a brush up on manners when it comes to women. I just hope everyone who reads this article learns something from it, please please please be respectful to one another.
I see people talking about the natives. You must be talking about the Mexicans and native Americans, you know, the ones we stole the land from. It’s sad, I dont recall them having a club. Maybe that’s why we give them sanctuary cities. We need to provide some kind of safe location for the native Floridians that they one be prosecuted for being brown. After all they were here first
the right thing has to happen !