Arrest made in assault on Navy sailor at Berlin pizzeria

·1 min read

Sep. 18—A Southington woman has been arrested after a viral video showed her confronting a Navy sailor and telling him he "disgraces the U.S." at a Berlin pizzeria.

Lori Desjardins, 45, of 1459 Mount Vernon Road was charged Thursday with third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace. The Berlin Police Department in a release said she turned herself in at the station.

Sean Nolte Jr., a sailor enlisted at the Naval Submarine School in Groton, was at Central Pizza in Berlin about 9:45 p.m. Saturday when the assault was caught on video.

In a Facebook post that night, Nolte said the woman had been casting looks at him, and since he was in uniform, he politely smiled back at her. "As she leaves, she looks at me and says 'Nice Smile' very sarcastically. I reply 'Thank You, have a nice day ma'am' and continue about my day," he wrote, adding that she came back not even 30 seconds later to accuse him of being a "fake" sailor.

She remained unconvinced after he showed her his ID, he said in the post. Then she left again only to return right away to berate him some more, grab his uniform and slap his face, he said.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, police said they received several tips Tuesday that led officers to a probable identification of the woman.

Nolte's Facebook post had garnered more than 1,300 comments and 1,200 shares by Friday evening.

Desjardins was released on a $10,000 nonsurety bond and is scheduled to appear at New Britain Superior Court on Sept. 23.

Nolte could not be reached Friday and Navy officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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