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Luke Gatti, UConn student from Bayville, on viral video in mac-and-cheese tirade

A college student from Bayville is facing criminal

A college student from Bayville is facing criminal and disciplinary charges at the University of Connecticut following a profanity-laced tirade and physical altercation in an on-campus food court -- over macaroni and cheese. Photo Credit: YouTube / iujm ujnh

A college student from Bayville is facing criminal and disciplinary charges at the University of Connecticut following a profanity-laced tirade and physical altercation in an on-campus food court -- over macaroni and cheese.

A video of the incident, recorded by a bystander and posted to YouTube on Monday, had gone viral by Tuesday morning with tens of thousands of hits.

The video begins with the student, identified by university police as Luke Gatti, 19, berating a food service manager. It ends with Gatti being tackled and held down by food court employees, then being handcuffed and arrested by police.

Records provided by the University of Connecticut show Gatti was charged with second-degree breach of peace and first-degree criminal trespass following his arrest Sunday at 9:59 p.m. Arraignment details were not immediately available but records indicated Gatti was released on $1,500 bond.

His next scheduled court appearance is Oct. 13.

Attempts to reach Gatti were unsuccessful.

According to the incident report, police said they received a 911 call shortly before 10 p.m. "reporting a disturbance in the Union Street Market in the Student Union" of the university campus in Storrs, Connecticut.

Police said the caller reported that "the male in question," later identified as Gatti, "was refusing to leave the market" -- and that the disturbance had "become physical."

Upon arrival, police said the responding officer found Gatti "being detained by Union Street Market employees."

Police said witnesses told them Gatti had been refused service due to drinking alcohol at the market. "After being told to leave several times, Gatti refused and became verbally and physically abusive with staff," the incident report states.

It also says: "Gatti shoved the manager several times before he was detained by staff."

In the posted video, which runs 9 minutes, 7 seconds, Gatti curses out the manager, whose identity was not released, and demands to be served bacon-jalapeno macaroni and cheese only to have the manager refuse -- because, the manager said, he saw Gatti drinking.

The manager explains to Gatti that he doesn't want him to risk being expelled and, pointing to his own head, the manager tells him: "Think. Think."

He then tells Gatti, "You're not welcome here," explains it is because he witnessed Gatti drinking in the dining area, and asks the student to "please leave."

On the video Gatti responds by berating the manager.

At one point Gatti is seen first pushing a finger into the manager's chest, then pushing him. The manager does not push Gatti, but steps back.

A bystander first steps in, attempting to defuse the situation. Later, food court employees attempt to persuade Gatti to leave. He doesn't.

Gatti continues to verbally accost the manager, who is seen putting his hands into his pants pockets.

He tells Gatti: "Back off me. Back off me."

Gatti continues berating the manager.

Finally, when Gatti pushes the manager again, he is tackled from behind by a male employee who can be heard yelling: "You don't threaten my boss."

That employee and the manager then can be seen holding down Gatti until the arrival of the police officer.

As the pair detain Gatti, the student can be heard on camera saying: "I was just trying to get mac 'n' cheese."

In a statement released to Newsday, the university said: "Federal student privacy provisions prevent UConn from discussing potential discipline cases involving individual students. Generally speaking, any UConn student found to have violated the provisions of the student code may face penalties imposed by the Division of Student Affairs that range from probation to expulsion."

A school spokeswoman said any review by the university's community standards review board would be independent of any police or legal action and would consider student action related to the school's code of conduct and could include a review of any potential prior incidents or the disclosure of prior incidents at UConn or at another school.

Records indicate Gatti transferred to Connecticut from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Calls to there were not immediately returned.

With Laura Blasey


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