SALEM — When Joseph Styczko saw his ex-girlfriend walking along Lafayette Street with another man, prosecutors say, he wasn’t happy about it.
Yesterday, Styczko admitted that he’d followed and then jumped the man, beating and kicking him on the ground in what his attorney called “the heat of passion.”
Styczko, 53, was found guilty of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced by Salem District Court Judge Matthew Machera yesterday to serve four months of an eight-month jail term, followed by two years of probation.
“You’re old enough to know better,” Machera told Styczko, who was arrested following the July 11 incident at the corner of Lafayette and Gardner streets in Salem.
Witnesses called police shortly after 6 p.m. to report that a man was beating up a couple.
Prosecutor Alex Grimes, citing a police report, said Styczko “sneaked up from behind and pummeled” the other man, at one point straddling him in a “mixed martial arts” style.
The man was left with cuts to his face, eye and ear, said the prosecutor. The man, whose right eye was nearly swollen shut when police spoke to him at the scene, declined medical attention. The ex-girlfriend had been shoved into a chain-link fence.
Grimes had urged a slightly longer time in jail, noting Styczko’s three-page criminal record and prior trips to jail.
Defense lawyer Paul Moraski, however, urged probation, saying his client “is not a violent criminal,” just a man with a “quick temper.”
Moraski disputed the status of his client’s relationship at the time of the incident, suggesting that the pair had not broken up, as police said.
He also noted that Styczko and the woman are back together.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.