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Emmaus man charged in fatal beating

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 20 2013 05:00:04 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 21 2013 05:36:29 AM CST

Investigators say a Lehigh County man beat his elderly neighbor, fracturing his skull and killing him.

Investigators say a Lehigh County man beat his elderly neighbor, fracturing his skull and killing him. It happened back in August, but charges were filed Wednesday.

Twenty-two-year-old Alexander Roscioli turned himself in. He's charged with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault for the death of 70-year-old John Sweeney Sr.

"He took away my dad, the only parent I had left, and the only grandparent that my children had," said Janis Sweeney, holding back tears. "We miss him so much, every day I miss him."

Janis says what started out as a disagreement with their upstairs neighbors, ended with her 70-year-old father dead.

"I lost my best friend, I lost my father, I lost my hero," added John Sweeney Jr.

Investigators tell us the beating happened early in the morning of August 30th, outside an apartment complex in the 300 block of Broom Street in Emmaus.

"Around 3 a.m., the cops knocked on our door," said Janis.

According to court documents, Sweeney Sr. got into a fight with Roscioli. It started out verbal, but then turned physical.

The paperwork says Roscioli admitted to repeatedly punching and kicking Sweeney Sr. after the elderly man hit him with a plastic hockey stick.

Investigators say Sweeney Sr. was bloody and unconscious, he had a skull fracture, broken ribs and cerebral hemorrhage.

Sweeney died the next day, and his death was ruled a homicide. Roscioli was a free man until Wednesday.

"He didn't say nothing to us," Janis said. "Not the mother or brother, nobody said nothing to us."

Now the Sweeney family says they just want justice to be served.

"I hope he spends a lot of time in jail, because he deserves it."

Neighbors say the Roscioli family still lives in the complex. When we knocked on their door, the person who answered said they didn't know anything about the fatal beating.

Roscioli is being held in Lehigh County prison on $750,000 bail. He's set to be in court again next week.