WOODBURY, N.Y. (AP) – A waiter who shocked guests at a Jewish wedding by playing a recording of a crowd chanting in Arabic has pleaded not guilty to a felony harassment charge.

Nassau County police said Stephen Buttafuoco was working at the Woodbury Jewish Center on Long Island on Jan. 4 when he played the chant over a sound system.

He was arrested Friday and arraigned Saturday. He was scheduled to be released on $1,500 cash bail, said his lawyer.

Investigators said the 23-year-old West Babylon man made the recording when he attended a rally opposing the Israeli offensive in Gaza, during which protesters chanted, “Allah Akbar,” or “God is great.”

Buttafuoco said he was playing the recording for a co-worker and was unaware it was being amplified, according to his lawyer, Tom Spreer.

Spreer said Buttafuoco’s father is a former Marine and pastor of a church in Babylon, and the family was sorry about the incident.

“They are a good family and they are very upset about what happened,” Spreer said. “And they wish to apologize to everyone who attended the wedding.”

Police initially released a statement saying that Buttafuoco had also been charged with disrupting a religious service. Spreer said, however, that the charge was not introduced at his arraignment. Newsday reported a grand jury will consider whether to bring the charge.

Police said the defendant is not related to Joey Buttafuoco, who went to prison in the Amy Fisher scandal.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.