The case was dropped against an Anna Maria man for allegedly slapping a teenager July 4 at the Rod & Reel Pier in Anna Maria.
The 12th Circuit Court State Attorney declined to file a child abuse charge suggested by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office against James Gerard Malfese for allegedly slapping a 15-year-old in the face.
Deputies were called to the scene and reported a welt on the teen’s face, but, according to subsequent reports, it may have been sunburn or a skin condition.
Two boys took shelter from a summer storm with others in the kitchen when Malfese scolded one of them for touching a fire sprinkler. The boys were unaccompanied at the pier, where they were fishing.
The prosecutor declined filing the charge due to insufficient evidence, according to a July 19 interdepartmental memo from the assistant state attorney handling the case.
Malfese has since returned to work at the pier, where he manages bait sales and deliveries and assists pier anglers.