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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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'Idol' entrant sued for tossing glass
By KEVIN GRAHAM
Published May 5, 2007
TAMPA - At first, he just wanted to put the incident behind him and let the physical wound heal.
But Wisam M. Hadad, 28, has decided to sue former American Idol finalist Jessica Sierra, who authorities say threw a cocktail glass at his forehead and left a gash.
Hadad also is suing the Hyde Park Cafe, where the incident happened, and its owner, Thomas Ortiz.
"We're concerned that some of the long-term impacts may affect his ability to provide for his family, " said Matthew S. Przybycin, the attorney representing Hadad. Married late last year, Hadad owns Florida Merchant Solutions, a credit card processing business.
Przybycin said Hadad is concerned about the mental and physical damage he suffered because of his April 29 encounter with Sierra. In the lawsuit, Przybycin wrote that Hyde Park Cafe's management had an obligation to provide a safe environment and that the bar's employees "knew or should have known of Sierra's disruptive and aggressive behavior at the club."
Przybycin wouldn't comment on whether Sierra was a regular at the bar. He said they filed the lawsuit quickly - three days after the incident - to keep the managers there from destroying any surveillance footage that could be used as evidence.
Sierra's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said Friday that he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.
Hadad said he had never met Sierra, who grew up in Tampa and finished in 10th place on American Idol in 2005. Nor does he watch the show, he said.
Sierra told police the incident was a case of mistaken identity. When she launched the glass at Hadad, she thought he was someone who had spit in her face.
She was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a detention facility.
Sierra told police the drugs found in her purse were not hers.