A Black woman was allegedly beaten with a cane by her elderly white landlord after he broke into her apartment.
On Tuesday (October 1), Eugene Simonetti reportedly beat his tenant, Veronica Cochran, and called her the N-word while her children watched, the New York Daily News reports.
His son, 61-year-old Rocco Simonetti was arraigned Wednesday (October 2) for his role in the alleged beating.
However, the elder Simonetti hasn’t been charged and didn’t appear in court because he was hospitalized with a possible stroke after the confrontation, Rocco’s defense lawyer said, the Daily News reports.
On the day of the alleged attack, Eugene removed the hinges from his tenant’s door while she was sleeping around 1:10 p.m., prosecutors said, according to the Daily News.
Her children, ages 13, 11 and 7, were also in the apartment on Voorhies Ave. at E.23rd Street in Sheepshead Bay and woke their sleeping mother when the landlord entered.
“You do not belong here, n*****,” Eugene allegedly told the tenant.
While Eugene allegedly beat her with a cane, his son, Rocco, punched her in the face, prosecutors said, the Daily News reports.
Cochran reportedly defended herself.
“She disarmed the 87-year-old landlord of his cane and started beating on him,” Rocco’s lawyer, Nicole Mull, said in court Wednesday.
“If he beat me with a cane, I would try to take it from him and hit him with it,” Assistant District Attorney Wilfredo Cotto responded, according to the Daily News.
According to Mull, Rocco only punched Cochran when he was trying to pull her off his father.
The incident allegedly began when the Simonetti’s couldn’t gain access to Cochran’s apartment after knocking and no one answered. They reportedly went to the apartment because paint was leaking to a lower floor, the Daily News reports.
“I’ve got nothing to say,” Rocco Simonetti said while leaving court Wednesday.
Judge Hilary Gingold ordered him released without bail and to stay away from the building where the tenant, and the elder Simonetti, both live.
The judge also hit Rocco with nearly 20 charges, including burglary, assault and child endangerment, according to the Daily News.
It’s unclear whether charges will be brought against the landlord, Eugene Simonetti.
Photo: Michael Marquand