Sea Isle City Man Gets Probation for Punching Fox 29’s Bob Kelly

By  | 

Patrick Iannone of Sea Isle City who punched Philadelphia TV personality Bob Kelly during a charity fundraiser last year at a Sea Isle City bar is receiving probation. Iannone, 22, was sentenced on Monday in Cape May County courtroom to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution after admitting assaulting Kelly. Iannone was considered by his prosecutor a “bully” who felt entitled while his defense argued he wasn’t protected under state law that grants a presumption against prison time when assaulting members of “protected classes”.

Kelly was hosting a fundraising event at Oar House Pub when Iannone punching him without provocation and knocking him out, leaving him with swollen left eye, headaches and difficulty being around crowds or hosting events – an integral part of his job with Fox 29 News. Kelly described this unprovoked attack as terrifying and disturbing on Fox 29 news and has found it difficult being around crowds or hosting events since this incident occurred, something which may make his job as news reporter more challenging in future.

Kelly detailed in his victim impact statement how his unprovoked punch had left him feeling self-conscious in public and impaired his performance at his job. As a result, he suffered anxiety over whether or not they will be attacked again; loss of sleep; vision issues; possible concussion; as well as having developed scarring under his left eye that may require plastic surgery treatment.

At Iannone’s sentencing hearing, both sides agreed that he should receive probation but could not reach agreement as to its length. Assistant Cape May County Prosecutor Edward Shim pushed for three to four years but Iannone’s attorney John Tumelty maintained that Iannone should receive less probation as they have started therapy to try to avoid future offenses and received support from his parents.

Superior Court Judge Christine Smith issued Iannone an ultimatum during his sentencing hearing: he must address his alcohol and mental health issues immediately or face consequences such as leaving her courtroom through the backdoor and being taken directly to state prison by sheriff’s deputies.

Iannone’s attorneys have requested his admission into a state program which provides an avenue towards prison diversion for first-time offenders who do not possess prior convictions and do not suffer from substance abuse issues. Tumelty informed the court that, during his consultation with Kelly as part of Iannone’s application to enter PTI program, Tumelty will discuss whether Kelly supports or opposes Iannone entering PTI program. If not accepted into this program, he will have to serve a jail sentence for aggravated assault; if admitted though successfully completing PTI, state will expunge his record, freeing him up for parole application upon completion of probation and possibly reinstate his driver’s license as soon as he completes probation or even reinstatement by state authorities once completed.