Ethan Kresofsky, the 24-year-old South Orange man who accused a St. James's Gate bartender of assault in January, appeared before a judge in Bloomfield Municipal Court Thursday morning to respond to the bartender's counter-claim of assault against him.
Kresofsky, accompanied by his mother, Eva and his father, Robert, was advised of the charges against him, which include spitting at and biting 30-year-old bartender James Meade. Bloomfield Chief Municipal Magistrate Judge John A. Paparazzo advised Kresofsky to have his attorney -- who was not present -- send a letter to the court to enter a plea and to speak to Meade's attorney to coordinate a date for the trial.
Eva Kresofsky later told Patch that her son would plead not guilty to the charges.
Reached earlier this week by phone, Meade's attorney, Robert D. Kuttner, said that neither he nor Meade were required to appear in court today and that Meade had entered a not guilty plea to Kresofsky's charges by letter, at the judge's request.
Outside the courtroom, Kresofsky told Patch that he hasn't seen Meade since the incident. "Why doesn't he just apologize, so it will be over?" said Kresofsky.
Kresofsky also expressed annoyance that Meade's father, pub owner John Meade, referred to the event in a press release as an "isolated incident."
"Stuff like this seems to happen there," said Kresofsky.
Kresofsky and his mother said he doesn't want financial gain from the incident and doesn't intend to file civil charges, although he would "appreciate it" if the Meade family offered to pay for his medical bills. Kresofsky said he went to the hospital shortly after the attack complaining of neurological symptoms and had a CAT scan, which was negative.
"I don't want to pursue (a civil trial)," he said. His mother said their attorney had advised that without evidence of physical damage resulting from the attack, it would be difficult to win damages in a civil suit.
Kresofsky's attorney advised him to pursue the case "so that (Meade) doesn't do it again to someone not as strong as me," he said. But, "I'm not going to beat it to death," he said. "It's the principle of it."
Members of the local LGBT community reached out to Kresofsky after the incident, he said, and he spoke to a lawyer but nothing came of the meeting.
When asked if he was surprised when Meade filed a counter-claim against him, Kresofsky said no. "I expected (it)," he said. "It makes him look better, less crazy."
Kresofsky, who said he didn't know Meade before the incident, said he thinks the case will be settled. His mother agreed: "There doesn't seem to be a dispute of the facts," she said.
"I just asked for a drink, that's all I did," said Kresofsky.