BERLIN, Conn. — A woman seen in viral video berating and striking a Navy sailor on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks turned herself in Thursday to face charges in the incident, police said.
Police charged Lori Desjardins, 45, with third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace following the incident at Central Pizza in Berlin. Authorities identified Desjardins as the woman seen in video attacking a Navy sailor and accusing him of wearing a fake uniform in an encounter at the restaurant.
“This is disgusting, disgusting,” Desjardins can be heard saying in the video. “You disgrace the U.S. You disgrace the USA.”
The U.S. Navy identified the sailor to WTIC-TV as Sean Notle Jr., a student at the Naval Submarine School in Groton. He is a fire control technician and joined the Navy in July 2020, officials told The Connecticut Post.
In a Facebook post, Nolte said he noticed a woman, identified by police as Desjardins, staring at him as he was getting pizza with a friend on Sept. 11. He said that after she went to get her pizza, she began to yell and accused him of pretending to be a member of the military. He said that he offered his military ID as proof of his service, which she claimed was also fake.
In video of the incident, Desjardins can be seen throwing Nolte’s hat at him and slapping him.
“Being in uniform, I must maintain professionalism,” he wrote on Facebook, “so I stand there and proceed to wish her a nice day.”
In a warrant obtained by the Post, police said Desjardins appeared to be intoxicated and that she didn’t remember hitting Nolte.
“I am very sorry for my actions and do not believe I was in the right frame of mind,” she told police, according to the warrant.
Authorities said Desjardins was released on a $10,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
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