Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wannabe mobster who stabbed pizza maker Mark Iacono calls victim a 'great guy'


Battista (Benny) Geritano (left) was arrested in April for allegedly stabbing Lucali's pizza shop owner Mark Iacono.
Battista (Benny) Geritano (left) was arrested in April for allegedly stabbing Lucali's pizza shop owner Mark Iacono.
"Why don't you take a picture of my c---?" Geritano shouted at a photographer Friday.
"Why don't you take a picture of my c---?" Geritano shouted at a photographer Friday.
A dopey mob wanna-be said yesterday he carved up a famous pizza maker over "family issues" - but all is forgiven.
Battista (Benny) Geritano, who the FBI says is a suspect in four old murders, claims he was acting in self-defense when he stabbed Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali pizzeria, in a bloody April 15 street fight.
Both men were arrested, but the charges were dropped because neither wanted to go before a grand jury.
Geritano also was charged with violating his federal probation.
"Mr. Iacono is a great guy," Geritano told the Daily News outside Brooklyn Federal Court during a break in a hearing to determine if he violated probation. "I know him my entire life. He's the greatest."
Asked if he blames Iacono for the legal bind that could send him back to prison for two years, he replied: "Absolutely not."
But when a News photographer began snapping photos, Geritano made an obscene gesture with a sandwich he was eating. "Why don't you take a picture of my c---?" he shouted.
Geritano, 38, testified yesterday he and Iacono were arguing on Court St. about "family issues," but he took the Fifth when prosecutor Jack Dennehy pressed him about the beef.
"Oh, I stabbed him," he testified. "I really don't know where I stabbed him. ... Throughout his body after I was stabbed multiple times throughout my body."
Geritano denied he was trying to collect loan money from Iacono, who runs a successful pizzeria in Carroll Gardens. Iacono has denied the argument was over Geritano's girlfriend, Annette Angeloni.
Geritano's testimony still could get him into trouble: He admitted he had been a Gambino associate and that members of a "certain organized crime family" wanted to kill him.
"I'm trying to go straight," insisted Geritano, who was released from prison last fall after serving eight years for robbery and bank burglaries.
Earlier, FBI agent Ted Otto testified that Geritano is suspected of participating in a bank vault burglary in Bensonhurst over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend after eluding a massive surveillance operation.
Otto said the mob wanna-be also is a suspect in four murders between 1989 and 1998. Geritano, who was acquitted of one of the murders, denies killing anyone. He was not charged in the other three slayings.


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