DENNIS VETERI, the South Jersey man who made headlines in January when a cellphone video of him beating another man in front of Geno's Steaks went viral, will definitely be home for the holidays.

Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler on Friday sentenced Veteri, 33, to 11 1/2 to 23 months of house arrest followed by five years of probation for the Jan. 2 beating of off-duty Woodbridge, N.J., cop Neal Auricchio, 31.

Assistant District Attorney Francis McCloskey had asked that Veteri be sentenced to 1 1/2 to four years in prison. Defense attorney Michael DeFino asked for house arrest.

"He's a good man who had a bad day. He's going to have to pay for this for the next seven years because his liberty is totally restricted," said DeFino. He added that his client will wear a monitor on his ankle while on house arrest and will leave home only to go to work and to attend drug- and alcohol-treatment classes.

Veteri, a union mason from Glassboro who is engaged and has three children, will have to move to Philadelphia to satisfy the terms of his sentence, DeFino said.

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