The official Wilmington Police Department report on New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi's altercation with Carl Arcaro April 13 in a Little Italy restaurant listed Grimaldi as the victim and Arcaro as the instigator.
In the report, Wilmington Police determined that Grimaldi, county government's No. 2 man, was defending himself when an increasingly belligerent Arcaro took an argument to a physical level while Grimaldi dined at Luigi Vitrone's Pastabilities Restaurant with a friend, former Wilmington Police officer Alfred Izquierdo.
Arcaro bit Grimaldi's hand during the altercation, according to eyewitnesses listed in the police report. The WPD report noted that Arcaro's eyes were glassy and he "was visibly intoxicated," with slurred speech.
The News Journal has reported the incident in a few of its editions during the past week. On Tuesday, Grimaldi and Izquierdo both participated in a live interview on WDEL 1150 AM with talk show host Rick Jensen to give more details of their side of the story after Arcaro said Grimaldi started the fight after a conversation about the Mafia.
Grimaldi said Arcaro initiated the conversation about the Mafia and indulged Arcaro, who had been drinking and was obviously intoxicated. But Arcaro said he felt Grimaldi was trying to intimidate him when the latter showed him a photo of a famous Mafioso on his cell phone.
Arcaro claimed that when he said the Mafia gave Italian Americans a bad name Grimaldi threw the first punch.
But, Grimaldi told WDEL that Arcaro was the one who asked him to look up the Mafioso and became verbally abusive during the conversation. Then, he said Arcaro began criticizing New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon for hiring black people in his administration, repeatedly using a racial epithet.
That was when things escalated and Grimaldi said he told Arcaro to shut up. Arcaro then took things to a physical level, and Grimaldi began to defend himself.
"The eye witness accounts and police report speak for themselves," Grimaldi said in a statement to the press. "Aside from my own, Mr. Arcaro was involved in two other separate incidents that evening, one of which has led to his arrest. Mr. Arcaro was terribly intoxicated. I was not. I was there to eat dinner with a friend."
Grimaldi and Izquierdo also refuted Arcaro's claims that Izquierdo was looking to land a country contract for his security firm. Grimaldi said he did not get involved in county contracts. Izquierdo, for his part, said he had no contract with New Castle County and, moreover, he said he did not make it a practice to dine with clients at 9:30 p.m. at night.
This was simply dinner with a friend, Izquierdo said.
In addition, Grimaldi responded to criticism over his decision to call New Castle County Police Chief Col. Elmer Setting in the WPD's jurisdiction, saying he was the first person he would call in such a situation. Grimaldi said Setting showed up on his own accord to aid him and did not interfere with Wilmington Police's investigation and he resented any insinuation to the contrary.
Page 2 of 2 - Grimaldi did not press charges against Arcaro, but he noted that WPD told him he had a year to do so.
Staff reporter Antonio Prado contributed to this report.