A Connecticut woman is facing possible charges after she was accused of slapping a Navy sailor in a pizza shop on the 9/11 anniversary. Part of the confrontation was recorded, including the possible assault. The video has spread widely on social media and is embedded below.
In the video, the woman is heard accusing the young man of wearing a fake military uniform. Police in Berlin, Connecticut, released the woman’s picture and were asking the public for help identifying her, saying she was suspected of assaulting the sailor. The Berlin Police have confirmed with Heavy that they’ve identified a suspect. She is cooperating with investigators and police say “when probable cause is developed we will apply for an arrest warrant.”
The young man was identified as Sean Nolte, Jr. Navy officials confirmed to the Hartford Courant that Nolte is a sailor currently training at the Naval Submarine School in Groton.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Woman Threw the Sailor’s Hat on the Ground & Slapped His Face, He Says
The confrontation took place on September 11 at Central Pizza in Berlin. Police say the accused assault happened around 9:45 p.m., which is shortly before closing time at the restaurant.
The video begins with the woman throwing a black hat on the ground as she exclaims, “This is disgusting.” She says “disgusting” again, steps forward and slaps Nolte’s face. She further insults him using profanity. The person who was recording mostly kept the camera off Nolte, but his face is briefly seen on the right-hand side of the screen as the woman slaps him.
The person recording is then heard advising the woman to leave. “Ma’am, you’re on camera. I would leave now before I call the police.” The person recording also tells the woman she’s not allowed to grab the phone, that she’s “not permitted to grab his hat” and urges her to “let him be.”
The woman urges the person recording to show the man’s uniform. She then points toward where Nolte was standing and says, “You disgrace the USA.” After more profanity, the woman again points at Nolte and says, “That’s not a uniform.”
The Berlin Police Department opened an assault investigation, according to a news release. The department was asking anyone with information about the woman’s identity to call 860-828-7080.
Nolte Says He Showed the Woman His Military ID & She Screamed That It Was a Fake
Nolte identified himself as the sailor in the video. He explained to WFSB-TV that the woman thought his uniform was fake because it’s green.
The Navy formally switched from blue camouflage to forest green on October 1, 2017, Newsweek reported at the time. According to the U.S. Naval Institite, Navy personnel at the Pentagon also switched to green uniforms in 2019.
Nolte posted about the encounter on Facebook shortly after it happened:
Tonight has been eventful to say the least…. I went to get a bite to eat off-base at a local pizza spot. As my friend is standing talking to her family; who currently owns this pizza spot, a woman walks in and is constantly staring back at me. As I am in uniform, I politely smile back…. The woman proceeds to walk in and out multiple times over the course of 10 minutes. Her food is ready, and she walks back in to retrieve her pizza… As she leaves, she looks at me and says “Nice Smile” very sarcastically. I reply “Thank You, have a nice day ma’am” and continue about my day.
Not even 30 seconds later she comes marching back in, and yells at the Pizzeria staff “He is a fake by the way, my husband is in the Army….” you can probably assume the rest. I proceed to attempt to prove that I am not a fake, even pulled out my VALID Military ID and showed it to her. She kept claiming that my Military ID is fake, and proceeds to show me her DEPENDENT MILITARY ID, and screams “This is what your ID should look like”.
As I realized there was no persuading this woman that I am not a fake, I politely say “Tell your husband thank you for his service for me, and have a nice day”. She storms out of the pizzeria, and storms right back in, progressively screaming at me “You disgust me, you son of a bitch”, grabbing my uniform and throwing my cover on the ground, not aware that I am a real service member. In a last ditch effort to leave, she rushes towards me and slaps me in the left side of my face. Being in uniform, I must maintain professionalism, so I stand there and proceed to wish her a nice day…. Well, looks like some of our own people can’t recognize authenticity when they see it.
Nolte’s post has since been flooded with supportive comments thanking him for his service and praising him for his composure.
Nolte Is a Submarine Technician & Volunteer Firefighter
Nolte is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. According to WHTM-TV, he graduated from the Harrisburg High School Sci-Tech Campus in 2017. The TV station spotlighted him in July 2021 to thank him for his service. The shoutout included that “Nolte is serving with the U.S. Navy in Groton, Connecticut.”
Nolte wrote on his Facebook page that he is a Submarine Electronics Fire Control Technician with the Navy. His account also includes that he studied at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology until 2020.
The Hartford Courant also reported that Nolte was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Harrisburg. Chief Nick Wachter of Rescue Fire Company 37 told the newspaper, “Sean’s a really good guy. He joined us right out of high school and we’re lucky to have him. He enlisted in the Navy so he’s not local anymore, but he’s still a member.”