REVERE, Mass. (AP) — An anti-casino proponent from Revere has been charged with assault and battery after allegedly punching a casino supporter in the nose.
Charles Lightbody, 59, a Revere business owner and landlord, punched Louis Ciarlone during a pro-casino rally Saturday, police told the Boston Herald.
Ciarlone is the head of the union that represents pari-mutuel clerks at the Suffolk Downs horse track on the Boston-Revere line, which is in the running for the lone casino license in greater Boston.
Ciarlone, 60, said in a statement released through Suffolk Downs that his nose was broken.
‘‘He struck me twice and then threatened to kill me,’’ Ciarlone said. ‘‘His attack was completely unprovoked and his threats have me concerned about my safety and the safety of my family.’’
Lightbody’s lawyer called it a case of self-defense.
‘‘Any striking which is attributed to Mr. Lightbody was done after he was struck in the face with a campaign placard while he was simply exercising his right to free speech,’’ attorney Tim Flaherty said.
A casino would bring down property values, Lightbody said.
The contentious casino debate is causing friction in Revere and East Boston.
Anti-casino advocate Celeste Myers says her volunteers have been filmed by Suffolk Downs operatives and that ‘‘No Eastie Casino’’ signs have been torn down.
State Rep. Carlo Basile says anti-gambling activists have threatened to boycott businesses that back the casino.
‘‘There are neighbors who have known each other for 30 years who aren’t talking to each other,’’ said Basile, who backs the casino proposal.
Information from: Boston Herald, http://www.bostonherald.com