BERLIN, Connecticut — A uniformed sailor who was berated and hit by a woman at a Berlin pizza shop over the weekend has spoken out about the assault that was caught on video.
Meanwhile, police confirmed to FOX61 News that the unidentified woman spoke with officers Wednesday morning. When FOX61 News approached her as she was leaving the Berlin Police Department headquarters, she would not speak to the camera and drove away.
Citing an ongoing investigation, Berlin police have declined to release the woman's name. She has not been charged with a crime.
The sailor, whose identity was confirmed to FOX61 News by the U.S. Navy and a family relative as Sean Nolte Jr., of Pennsylvania, is stationed in Groton and is attending the Naval Submarine School.
On Saturday night, he left the base to get a bite to eat at Central Pizza on Mill Street, a local pizza shop owned by a friend’s family.
“A woman walks in and is constantly staring back at me,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “As I am in uniform, I politely smile back.”
What happened next was caught on video.
An unidentified woman was seen swearing at a man dressed in military uniform. In the video, she is heard claiming that the uniform he is wearing is “fake” before it escalated to the woman slapping the man.
"Show his uniform. Show his uniform. You disgrace the U.S. You disgrace the USA," the woman, who claimed her husband was in the Army, can be heard saying in the video.
“Being in uniform, I must maintain professionalism, so I stand there and proceed to wish her a nice day,” Nolte wrote on Facebook, adding that he pulled out his military ID as proof. “Well, looks like some of our people can’t recognize authenticity when they see it.”
FOX61 News reached out to Nolte, who declined to comment further.
Earlier Wednesday, police told FOX61 that they have received several tips after the video went viral and have a “probably identity of the suspect.”
"We are hopeful that once probable cause is developed that we are going to be applying for an arrest warrant," said acting Chief of Police Chris Ciuci.
The owner of Central Pizza told FOX61 News that the incident happened around 11:45 p.m., just before closing time.
“It was the last two or three orders,” Jason Bikakis said. “I was here all day long and then this happened so fast.”
Vinny Trigila, commander of the American Legion Post 68 in Berlin, told FOX61 there are posers who put on fake uniforms to get military and veteran specials - ruining it for everyone else.
"I couldn't believe it. I mean, right here in town, to a place I frequent often," he said about the incident. "The uniform codes are always evolving. Clearing this was a case of that. It probably looked like a poser."
He continued: "We have all these people who served this country and they don't deserve this kind of reaction. I hope she makes it right. Nobody wants to see anybody get punished for an honest mistake."
The U.S. Navy told FOX61 their uniforms changed from blue to green camo in 2016 with the full transition completed in 2019.
Officials ask anyone with information to call the Berlin Police Department at 860-828-7080.
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