A tough Brooklyn judge granted a compassionate weekend furlough to a reputed Colombo mobster whose baby daughter underwent surgery Friday for treatment of Stage 4 cancer.
Federal Judge Leo Glasser, who presided over the racketeering trial of Gambino crime boss John Gotti and sentenced him to life in prison, overruled the government’s objection to springing Lukey DiMatteo from prison.
DiMatteo’s 17-month-old daughter, Barbara, was already diagnosed with an abdominal tumor when he was arrested last July by the feds on extortion and loansharking charges.
He has been held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center while the little girl was undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Federal Judge Leo Glasser overruled the government’s objection to springing Lukey DiMatteo from prison.
But her condition recently worsened, with the tumor enveloping her aorta, said defense lawyer Donald DuBoulay, who asked the judge to release his client for one week.
“God forbid something happens to the child, it would be unconscionable if he was not with his child,” DuBoulay argued in Brooklyn Federal Court. “The next few days are crucial.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes told the judge that the doctor’s letter indicated the child’s prognosis is good, and the government would have agreed to release DiMatteo for the day so he could be at the hospital after his daughter gets out of the operating room.
But Geddes strongly objected to a weeklong furlough. “The government cannot control who comes to his house or who meets him at the hospital,” Geddes said.
“During the weeklong period, he could start to put things back in gear, he could pass messages, he could have people come to him to give them instructions.”
The judge said he didn’t find the government’s concerns compelling enough to keep DiMatteo caged, but ruled that it would be just for him to be out for the weekend and self-surrender Monday morning.
“Hopefully she’ll recover from surgery,” Glasser said.
DiMatteo, 46, will wear an electronic ankle bracelet and is allowed only to visit the hospital, then he must return to a relative’s home in Coney Island.
Outside court, DiMatteo chugged a bottle of soda and ate a cupcake because his blood sugar was low. He said he was very grateful to the judge because his daughter “means everything to me.”
But DiMatteo was still steaming at the prosecutor.
“I think it’s a disgrace the lies the government was saying about me. It’s terrible. Terrible!” he ranted.
DiMatteo’s uncle Luca, a reputed Colombo capo, is a co-defendant in the case, and he too is being held without bail at the MDC.