harges of assault will not be pursued against a businessman and a newspaper publisher who were involved in a late-night altercation last month.
The municipal court appearances for Tom Hutsler, 54, downtown Parkville businessman, and Mark Vasto, 37, who publishes a weekly newspaper distributed in Parkville, were originally scheduled for last Thursday. Neither appeared on the docket. Hutsler said Peter Schloss, city prosecutor, has told Hutsler’s attorney the charge against him was dropped. Vasto confirmed in a phone conversation with The Landmark that his charge has been dropped as well.
The city prosecutor declined to comment on the situation when approached by The Landmark during Thursday’s municipal court session.
Hutsler and Vasto were both arrested by Parkville police shortly after midnight Sept. 27 and issued citations for assault. Hutsler alleged Vasto entered his buiding at No. 2 Main Street and angrily initiated an altercation. Hutsler claimed Vasto bumped or shoved him with his chest. Vasto told police Hutsler had pushed him as well. In interviews with The Landmark, each man denied making contact with the other.
The dropping of charges does not affect an order of protection that was awarded in Platte County Circuit Court last week. As reported in last week’s Landmark, Judge Gary Witt has granted Hutsler a one-year order of protection against Vasto. In courtroom testimony, Hutsler outlined for the judge what he said were three incidents involving Vasto, two of which he said were verbal in nature and the most recent incident of alleged physical contact.
Vasto did not make an appearance to testify in the hearing on the order of protection. The order of protection is scheduled to remain in effect until Oct. 13, 2010.