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WOMAN SENTENCED FOR BEATING 2 MEN IN MELEE

Kimberly Panzetta must perform 75 hours of community service work for beating two men during an early morning melee at an Orchard Park restaurant last year.

Ms. Panzetta, 25, of 3620 Abbott Road, Orchard Park, also was given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

"I'm sure you've learned your lesson," State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang told her.

Ms. Panzetta, an employee of a local temporary job agency and a graduate student in counseling, declined to comment during the sentencing. Joseph V. Sedita, her attorney, told the judge the melee was not typical of her behavior and her lifelong work with various charity groups.

Prosecutor Gary W. Hackbush said Ms. Panzetta had been charged with felony assault for striking Dean J. Neaverth and Patrick McMaster, an off-duty Orchard Park police officer, on the head with a beer bottle during a melee outside a North Buffalo Street restaurant July 28, 1996.

Police quelled a near-riot involving about 100 people outside the restaurant at about 1:30 a.m. that morning. But only Ms. Panzetta and Seth P. Huber of Orchard Park were arrested, Hackbush said.

Huber, now 21, of 69 North Lane, pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge last summer in Orchard Park Village Court and was fined $100 and granted a conditional discharge.

Ms. Panzetta's case was delayed because she had demanded a jury trial on the felony charge, only to accept the misdemeanor plea deal, court officials said.

Neaverth, 31, who now works in North Carolina in the financial industry, agreed to the plea deal for the woman, Hackbush said.

The street melee was sparked by Huber, then underage, being served a beer in a North Buffalo Street restaurant, the prosecutor said.

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