A municipal court judge ruled a complaint filed by a bartender of a popular Maplewood pub accusing a South Orange resident of assault should move forward.
Bloomfield Chief Municipal Magistrate Judge John A. Paparazzo found probable cause after hearing testimony Thursday morning from 30-year-old West Orange resident James Meade, a bartender at St. James's Gate Publick House, accusing 24-year-old Ethan Kresofsky of assault.
At Thursday's hearing, Meade testified in connection with a Jan. 8 incident at the bar that turned violent.
Last month, Paparazzo found probable cause to move forward with a complaint Kresofsky filed against Meade, alleging he was assaulted by the bartender.
On Thursday, Meade said Kresofsky was "intoxicated" and that Meade asked him to leave the bar.
"He came back in, he spit in my face, I defended myself and he bit my finger," said Meade.
Meade, who was represented in court by attorney Robert D. Kuttner, said he missed more than two weeks of work due to injuries from the alleged bite. Meade told Kuttner he had photographs documenting the injury but the judge told him to hold them for the trial.
Kresofsky filed an assault complaint against Meade after the Jan. 8 incident. that he asked Meade, who is a son of the bar's owner John Meade, for a drink at about 1:40 a.m. and Meade allegedly said no. When asked why, Kresofsky told the judge Meade called him an anti-gay epithet. The verbal altercation soon turned violent, said Kresofsky, who said the two men spit at each other and that Meade allegedly punched Kresofsky in the face.
Meade filed his complaint on Jan. 24, after Paparazzo decided there was probable cause to move ahead with Kresofsky's complaint.
Kresofsky did not attend Thursday's hearing.
Kuttner asked Paparazzo if both sides could be heard simultaneously at a hearing that was already scheduled for Feb. 21. The judge agreed, adding that he first has to notify the Maplewood Municipal Court of today's decision. The case originally was moved to Bloomfield because of a conflict of interest with the Maplewood municipal court judge.