The alleged victim, identified as A.E., 49, said he rushed into his establishment after hearing the three clergy were trashing the restaurant and during the ensuing confrontation the priest struck him with a chair and the two nuns -- who their lawyers said have "a combined age of 160" -- kicked him in the stomach, ANSA reported Monday.
A.E. was hospitalized with injuries to his neck and abdomen, doctors said.
"I came down to try to calm things down but the priest hit me with a chair and I ended up on the floor. Then the two sisters started kicking me, insulting me with unrepeatable words," the restaurant owner said.
Lawyers for the accused denied the assault and said the restaurateur was embroiled in a dispute with the local convent of the Disciples of Saint Teresa, which owns the building. The priest reportedly was recruited to help the nuns convince A.E. to give up his lease on the property. ANSA said.
"That establishment was occupied illegally," a lawyer for the accused said.