MOUNT SINAI, Long Island (WABC) -- A security guard was arrested after allegedly beating up a 68-year-old man at an apartment complex on Long Island Wednesday.
Police said John Ruggiero, of Port Jefferson Station, was working as a security guard at The Ranches at Mount Sinai, located on Route 25A, around 3:00 p.m. when the incident unfolded.
The victim, Jack Carter of Centereach, was visiting a friend who lives at the building, the friend, Jack Parks, told Eyewitness News. Parks said the security guard was giving Carter a hard time because his phone was dead, and a verbal dispute ensued.
The 50-year-old security guard then allegedly assaulted Carter, and Parks said he found him in a pool of blood.
"I could hear them arguing back and forth and the phone went dead ... and when I went down there on my bicycle, Jack was laying in the road, covered in blood."
Parks said another resident tried to resuscitate Carter, and Ruggiero threatened him too.
"He asked me if I want some of that," Parks said.
The 68-year-old victim was taken to Stony Brook Hospital, where he's now in a coma, authorities said. His friend said Carter's in "horrible shape."
Ruggiero was treated and released from St. Charles Hospital for injuries sustained during the fight.
When asked why he assaulted Carter, Ruggiero said: "I was just doing my job ... security."
Ruggiero's fiancée screamed at news crews after he walked out on $7,500 bail for felony assault charges.
The suspect, a retired NYPD officer, was wearing a red T-shirt that read, "Warning: You have the right to Remain an Idiot. Everything YOU say can and will be IGNORED."
Ruggiero's lawyer insisted that Carter was the one who started the trouble.
"You saw the bruising and the black eye and the bandage on my client's face. He knocked my client to the ground, punched him a number of other times," the lawyer said.
Parks insisted that Carter isn't the violent type.
He said Carter is a retired FDNY firefighter and frequently worked with Tunnel to Towers, a nonprofit organization for fallen service members.
An investigation is ongoing.