YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A case of mistaken identity put a 17-year-old Englewood boy in the hospital after he was beaten by two beefy New York Rangers fans who thought he was the one who sold them four bogus tickets for a playoff game against the Bruins at Madison Square Garden.
It also brought Englewood police a third arrest when the ticket dealer himself showed up at the pre-arranged meeting place where the teen was ambushed.
Robert Brancaccio of Hillsdale and Raymond Sorg of Ridgefield Park “grabbed, assaulted and sent to the hospital a totally innocent — and much smaller — kid who was simply on his way to work,” Englewood Detective Capt. Tim Torell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.
Englewood police arrested the 6-foot-tall, 250-pound Brancaccio, 39, along with Sorg, a 43-year-old convicted felon who’s also 6 feet and 220 pounds, following yesterday’s assault, Torell said.
They also arrested 41-year-old Troy Harrell of the Bronx — a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history in New Jersey, New York and Maryland — on charges of theft by deception and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Brancaccio and Sorg hooked up with Harrell on Craig’s List and then met him in Englewood, where they gave him $640 for the tickets, Torell said.
They ended up watching the game at a Manhattan bar after Garden ticket takers turned them away, the captain said.
Afterwards, they went to work online, he said. With the help of a friend, the pair found Harrell posting more tickets for sale.
Using different names, they agreed to buy four tickets to the 3-day, New York City Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island, featuring Guns N’ Roses and Kanye West, beginning June 7.
They arranged to meet Harrell in the same shopping plaza as the week before, Torell said.
“Their plan, at least according to them, was to confront Harrell about the previous rip-off and then contact the police,” the captain said.
It’s unclear how they thought the teen was Harrell, but they grabbed the youth, slammed him to the ground and beat him, severely injured his shoulder, Torell said.
It was only then that they called police, he said.
Brancaccio and Sorg were explaining what happened to the responsing officers when they got a call — from Harrell.
“That’s when these guys realized they had made a very big mistake,” the captain said.
Sure enough, an unsuspecting Harrell rolled up a short time later.
He was carrying four bogus tickets to the governor’s ball, along with a marijuana pipe, Torell said.
As if the story wasn’t hard enough to believe, the arresting officers discovered that Harrell had an outstanding warrant out of Englewood — for pulling a similar scam.
Harrell was being held on $27,500 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
Both Brancaccio and Sorg posted bail and were released pending Municipal Court hearings on aggravated assault.
It turns out Brancaccio also had warrants for minor offenses from Woodland Park, Holmdel and Mays Landing, Torell said.
The juvenile’s parents were contacted. They met him at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.
MUGSHOTS: Englewood PD