A local radio host is pressing charges in response to an online comment which he believes was a direct attack against him.
During a hearing in West Seneca Town Court Tuesday, WBEN radio host Tom Bauerle said Nick Orticelli harassed and threatened him in a Facebook post, saying things like "beat the victim relentlessly until he is bloody."
Orticelli was originally charged with a violation, but when the defense asked to dismiss the charge, the prosecution upped it to a misdemeanor.
Orticelli's lawyer argued the prosecution purposely left out the part of the post that said "figuratively,” and that his client was venting frustrations toward Bauerle, rather than intending harm.
They also said the post is protected under free speech and the charges are a violation of the First Amendment.
"We do uphold the constitution. We're fighters for the Constitution of the United States in a day in age when not many people are and it's important to us,” said Nancie Orticelli, the defendant’s wife. “We're going to stand up for what's right."
A request for comment from Bauerle and the district attorney’s office were not immediately returned.
The case is scheduled for a jury trial in April.