Soldier sentenced for assaults, disobedience
January 30, 2004
WüRZBURG, Germany — A Schweinfurt-based soldier was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for a series of violent outbursts directed at his girlfriend, police and his chain of command.
Pvt. John P. Mattiello, 21, of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, pleaded guilty to some charges and was convicted of 21 counts ranging from assault on his girlfriend and two German police officers to disrespect toward officers and noncommissioned officers in his unit, said Capt. Jason Duncan, the military prosecutor who handled the case.
Mattiello’s troubles began June 21, when he argued with his girlfriend — a German civilian — at a party in the village of Creglingen, near Würzburg. Duncan said the soldier beat the woman and poked her in the eye, then jumped on the hood of her car as she tried to drive away. She suffered cuts and had to be hospitalized after he broke a window in her car.
Later that night, Duncan said, Mattiello struggled with German police who came to the party to arrest him. And when he was taken back to his unit, he erupted in curses at several NCOs.
Two months later, Duncan said, Mattiello fought for 30 minutes in the back of a police cruiser with German officers who had pulled him over for speeding. Damage to the car was estimated at 1,000 euros, about $1,230.
On Oct. 1, he ignored an order not to leave his base and went out drinking in Schweinfurt, Duncan said. Still drunk, he missed formation the next morning, then cursed at the NCOs and an officer after he was ousted from his bed, Duncan said. Since then, he has been jailed at the Mannheim Correctional Facility.
Mattiello’s attorney, Capt. Kurt Gilabert, contested the assault charges, arguing the soldier had not attacked his girlfriend, and that the police officers had assaulted him first.
In addition to the prison term, the military judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, ordered Mattiello to forfeit all pay during his confinement, to be reduced to the lowest enlisted rank, and to be given a bad-conduct discharge.