Former 'Mac N' Cheese Kid' arrested in Florida

In this screenshot, former UConn student Luke Gatti is seen during his apology video posted to his personal YouTube account in the wake of the now-infamous incident between him and two Union Street Market employees in UConn's Student Union. He was arrested on June 28, 2016 in Boca Raton, Florida for resisting officers. (Screenshot/YouTube)

BOCA RATON, FL – Luke Gatti, formerly known as the “Mac ‘n’ Cheese Kid” after drunkenly demanding jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese and getting violent with employees at the University of Connecticut last October, has been arrested again on similar charges in Florida, according to Mass Live.

Gatti, 20, of Bayville, New York, was arrested on charge of battery on a law enforcement officer on May 28th, though the incident technically took place on May 27th. His case is scheduled for disposition on July 27, according to the police report.

Gatti was arrested after resisting officers at the Wellness Resource Center in Boca Raton, Florida, which he was ordered to enroll at after his altercation at UConn. A Boca Raton Police Department report stated that officers were trying to move Gatti into custody for his own safety after he fled the rehab center.

According to Officer Gina Schuss’ statements in the report, Gatti made several suicidal statements while in the police cruiser. Rehab staff called police after expressing concern for Gatti’s behavior hours after he arrived at the center around 11:00 a.m. on May 27th from a detoxification center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Gatti’s vital signs were elevated and he was experiencing withdrawal. He allegedy fled the center on foot without shoes around 3:30 p.m. because a doctor refused to give him medication to cope with withdrawal pain, according to the police report.

"I then began to speak to him about how he felt," Schuss wrote. "(He said he) did not care if he got hurt or if he hurt himself and wanted to be left alone."

Schuss took Gatti into custody under the Baker Act, which allows police custody when there is a threat of mental health problems.

When Schuss reached for Gatti, he reportedly hit her hand away. He backed up when a second officer grabbed his arm, causing both to fall so hard into a closed door that it came off its hinges, and the officer landed on top of Gatti.

Current UConn students shared Mass Live’s article on UConn’s Buy/Sell Facebook page, with many comments such as “you’d think he’d learn” and “he clearly has a problem.” Some students even expressed some sympathy for Gatti and his wellbeing.

Gatti is no stranger to the law or charges of battery toward officers. In 2014, he was involved in two other incidents at UMass Amherst, the first of which he made inappropriate gestures at an arresting officer and called the Caucasian man the N-word after a party near campus. The second altercation happened two weeks later, where Gatti assaulted another police officer at a party in the same area.

In October 2015, a highly intoxicated Gatti demanded to be served mac ‘n’ cheese at UConn’s Student Union Marketplace, using extreme profanity and arguing with the Union’s manager. He eventually became physical with the manager, other employees, and intervening students until he was tackled and detained by a Union employee until police arrived to arrest him. 

The altercation was caught on video and hit well over a million views in just a few days, eventually going internationally viral. He was charged with breach of peace in the second degree and criminal trespass in the first degree.

Gatti was no longer enrolled at UConn and banned from all university property as of mid-October 2015, according to university and police officials.


Molly Stadnicki is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at molly.stadnicki@uconn.edu.