Cops: 'Biggest Loser' trainer beat boy with weightlifting belts
BY MICHAEL AMON
November 2, 2008)
Before he was arrested on charges of beating his girlfriend's 6-year-old son, Anthony Badalamenti was a bodybuilder and personal trainer with a seemingly bright future.
His workout regimen helped a Freeport man lose 186 pounds last year on NBC's weight-loss reality show " The Biggest Loser." That led to more television appearances this year, said his landlord.
But yesterday, Badalamenti, 31, of Merrick, was in jail and ordered by a judge to stay there on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash after being arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of second-degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. His live-in girlfriend, Jessica Muniz, 29, faces the same charges and was held yesterday on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash.
Her young son, police said, was beaten with weightlifting belts on Friday evening and had multiple lacerations and bruises on his right hand, right leg and buttocks when authorities found him. The boy was treated for his injuries and released to a relative.
Attorneys for Badalamenti and Muniz, both represented by Legal Aid, could not be reached. A relative of Muniz declined to comment. Badalamenti's family did not return calls.
The couple's landlord, Joe Salerno, who lived below their apartment on Meadowbrook Road, said he could hear the child's cries for nearly a month. He considered it a private matter until he heard the screams again on Friday evening. He picked up the phone and dialed 911.
"The child was pleading for mercy. I said, 'That's it, I can't take it anymore,' " Salerno said.
Badalamenti, a personal trainer at Titans Fitness and Boxing Club in Merrick, was once an avid bodybuilder and placed photographs of himself posing on his apartment walls, Salerno said. He appeared on "The Tyra Banks Show" this year and bragged about fighting in Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, Salerno said.
Last year, Badalamenti helped Jim Germanakos, a Freeport police officer, lose nearly half his body weight on "The Biggest Loser."
"He just did a hell of a job with me," Germanakos told CNN host Larry King in December.