James Gerard Malfese, 55, longtime resident of Anna Maria, was arrested July 4 for slapping a child in the face.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reported two minors were fishing at the Rod & Reel Pier, 875 N. Shore Blvd., Anna Maria, when it began to rain and they took shelter in the kitchen.
One of the youths, a 15-year-old male, apparently touched a fire sprinkler guard, which prompted Malfese, who works at the pier, to curse and slap the minor, according to the MCSO report.
Malfese allegedly told the minor “he would whoop his ass and kick him off the pier,” according to the report.
Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Desch and the teen’s mother responded to the scene.
The deputy interviewed the parties and witnesses and reported a welt on the teen’s face consistent with the minors’ version, as well as the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on Malfese.
Malfese told the deputy the minors were lying.
He also told police he’d consumed two beers after 4 p.m., when he got off work at the pier.
Another employee at the pier, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Islander the two teens frequently cause problems at the pier and seldom, if ever, are supervised or accompanied by a adult.
Malfese was taken into custody, transported to the Manatee County jail and released July 5.
His court arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.