Peter Parente (courtesy of NRPD)

Woes Mount for Prominent New Rochelle Veteran After Third Arrest in Six Months

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Peter Parente has been arrested again – for the third time in 6 months – according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. 

Parente was first arrested on November 25, 2017 on one count of Criminal Possession of a Firearm in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, a violent felony punishable from between two and seven years in prison and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree for possessing a firearm not permitted by his valid NYS Pistol Permit. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail. 

The arrest followed a visit to the family home by New Rochelle Police following a domestic violence complaint filed against Parente with Westchester County Child Protective Services.

A stay away order of protection was granted to Parente’s wife by both the criminal court in New Rochelle and the Westchester County family court. 

Parente was arrested a second time on May 3rd and charged with Criminal Contempt 2nd for two separate visits he made to his wife’s house in May in violation of the order of protection. 

Parente was arrested a third time on Tuesday June 5th. He was charged with another count of contempt after he contacted his wife by text message in violation of the stay away order.

In November, Parente was notified by Judge Anthony Carbone that any license or permit for the sale or possession of firearms Parente held was suspended and ordered Parente to turn over any firearms in his possession.

Parente allegedly failed to comply with the court order. Additional guns were later turned over to police after his wife notified New Rochelle police of guns stored in the family garage. More guns were later confiscated by police in Pennsylvania where Parente owns a vacation home.

The weapon confiscated by police that formed the basis of the criminal charge is a sawed-off shot gun with the serial number filed off.

Shortly after he was released from jail over the long Thanksgiving weekend, Parente issued a public statement denying there were charges of domestic violence pending against him and dismissing the gun charges.

“I was arrested for an old shot gun I had from desert storm 1991. Forgot I had it and the cops saw it. Plain and simple.”

According to past statements by Parente, the sawed-off shot gun was made by Frank Ranilla, also a Marine and friend of Parente, and presented to Parente as a gift. The gun had nothing to do with Desert Storm. Parente had handled the weapon numerous times in recent years and it had been fired numerous times.

Parente’s case was removed to the Westchester County Court’s Integrated Domestic Violence Court on May 14th.

According to court documents, the Integrated Domestic Violence Court is “a special court established as a forum to hear cases that are simultaneously pending in the courts if one of them is a domestic violence case in a criminal court and the other is a case pending in Supreme or Family Court that involves a party or witness in the domestic violence case and the other is a case in any of these other courts having a common party or in which a disposition may affect the interests of a party to the first case.”

Judge Susan M. Capeci found the case pending in Family Court involves a witness in the domestic violence part and ordered the removal of Parente’s case to her court in White Plains, NY.

Parente appeared in the Integrated Domestic Violence Court on May 22nd.

Parente was notified of the new contempt charge on June 4th and arraigned in New Rochelle City Court before Judge Carbone on Tuesday June 5th. His case was adjourned to July 9th. He was released on bail the same day.

“The contempt charges are misdemeanors but will be heard in the Integrated Domestic Violence Court,” said Westchester County District Attorney Spokesperson Helen Jonsen.

The next court date on the outstanding Criminal Possession of a Weapon charge from November 22nd, is August 1st, said Jonsen.

Parente may be facing new difficulties.

Parente is well-known as the organizer of the Westchester County Veterans Appreciation Day event held annually at Glen Island Park owned and operated by the Westchester County Parks Department.

Westchester County Police are now investigating Frank Ranilla, one of the event organizers, after numerous photographs surfaced on Facebook depicting Ranilla wearing a handgun on a hip holster at the Veterans Appreciation Day at Glen Island Park on May 28th.

“Westchester County law prohibits anyone other than a police officer or peace officer from bringing a firearm into a county park,” said Westchester County Police spokesperson Kieran O’Leary. “The photo from Glen Island that appeared on social media is under investigation by our department.”

Ranilla openly carrying a firearm at the event may complicate Parente’s ability to secure a permit for any County parks in the future, especially under the current administration of County Executive George Latimer who banned gun shows at the Westchester County Center soon after taking office on January 1st.

UPDATE JUNE 8: “The City is reviewing Mr. Parente’s role on the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee,” says City Spokesperson Kathy Gilwit.