March 07, 2011 6:59am PT by Lindsay Powers
Man Who Punched Jersey Shore's Snooki Enlists in Army
Brad Ferro, who lost his job as a teacher after he was caught on camera punching Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, has enlisted in the army.
The controversial footage was shown on promos for the MTV reality show -- and widely dissected by the media -- but cut from the actual show.
"My son made them famous," the Long Island man's outraged father, Dan, told the New York Post of the cast. "They made a lot of money off of him, and I think they owe him."
Ferro said his son was drunk, and hit Snooki in "self defense" when she began angrily accusing him of stealing her and her castmates' drinks.
Ferro pleaded guilty to one charge of simple assault, served six months' probation and paid a $500 fine. He was fired from his job as a gym teacher at North Queens Community High School after the episode aired in December 2009.
"This kid has never been in any trouble -- ever," his dad went on. "Thanks to MTV, he got fired. Every other option he would've had got cut off. He still has college loans."
Meanwhile, the Post notes that Snooki raised her public appearance rates from $2,000 to $10,000 after the clip went public. She now earns more than $30,000 an episode, and is a New York Times best-selling author with her book A Shore Thing.
Ferro was forced to move in with his grandmother when his unemployment insurance ran out, and his dad says the family has become unwelcome in their Deer Park, Long Island hometown.
"We all had a hard time," he told the Post as his voice cracked. "We couldn't even go to the diner."
His son hasn't been able to find dates.
"That was one of the first things he said, 'What kind of woman is gonna want to have anything to do with me?' " the father recalled. "I mean, you go on a couple of dates and then pump 'Brad Ferro' into Google... He wasn't very sociable after that. "
Brad joined the military as a Cavalry Scout, leaving for basic training in Fort Knox, Ky. in February. His father told the Post he hopes nobody recognizes his son at basic training.
"He lost his career and his pride and everything else," his dad said. "But he's getting it back. You can't keep a good man down for too long."