By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — City Councilman Ray Muscat pleaded guilty a misdemeanor charge of entry without owner’s permission as a result of a plea deal for a Dec. 8 altercation with neighbor Nicholas Diedo.
A preliminary examination of the evidence against Muscat was scheduled for June 14 in front of 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey where attorneys from both sides worked out a deal which dismissed the felony third degree home invasion count.
It was recommended that Muscat also participate in an anger management course and have no contact with Diedo or his residence, under the deal.
Salamey asked Muscat if he was pleading guilty to which Muscat responded yes, after a brief pause. Muscat also was asked to tell the court what he did on Dec. 8 to be guilty of the offense by Salamey.
“I went to Mr. Dideo’s house to speak to him about why he was doing what he was doing to my home and he opened the door and I put my foot in the door without permission.”
Sentencing was left at the discretion of the court and is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 13 in front of Salamey, who said he’ll refer the matter to the probation department for a pre-sentencing investigation and sentence recommendation.
On his way out of court Muscat thanked the large group of supporters who attended the prelim.
“Thank you everybody,” he said. “I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate everybody being here today.”
The most recent altercation between Muscat and Diedo took place in December, but initial encounters between the pair began last summer which resulted in Muscat to install a security surveillance system. In the past Diedo allegedly trashed and vandalized Muscat’s yard, in one instance spraying weed killer to produce slang words in the lawn, causing Muscat to replace some of the lawn, he told WXYZ Channel 7.
Muscat said went to Diedo’s house Dec. 8 to ask speak with him, and left with a bloody face.
“He opened the door, I had my hand on the storm door, I put my foot inside and the haymakers started,” Muscat told Channel 7. “I said to ‘come outside, I want to talk to you.’ I’m afraid for my wife to let the dog out on the side of the house now.”
As the encounter was taking place, Muscat’s wife, Lisa, was recording video on her cellphone when Diedo yelled obscenities and expletives at her. Lisa Muscat also can be heard saying, “What did he do to you? Oh, my God, Ray!” after seeing her husband’s bloody face.
Police told Channel 7 other neighbors also have installed security surveillance systems.
Diedo spent two days in jail before being released on Dec. 10. He was charged by Wayne County Prosector Kym Worthy with one count of trespassing with a maximum of 30 days in jail.
He faces federal arson charges after allegedly setting fire to the 315 North Strip Mall in Inkster Feb. 3. If convicted, he could face 20 years in federal prison.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])