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

Monday, June 4, 2018

Jailed Colombo mobster Tommy Shots testifies in $10M suit against the feds for prison fall

A ping-pong paddle and a shower shoe were among the key evidence at the slip-and-fall trial for a portly ex-Colombo mob boss who is suing the feds for $10 million, claiming he fell and broke his kneecap during a 2013 ping-pong game in prison.
Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, who was found guilty of racketeering a year earlier and sentenced to 18 years for plotting murders with a henchman, sued the Metropolitan Detention Center for his spill.
Gioeli says he went to retrieve a stray ping-pong ball and slipped on a puddle that frequently gathered outside of the unit’s showers due to a leaky slop sink.
The 65-year-old fat-fella — who appeared in Brooklyn federal court Monday aided by a walker — testified that he had repeatedly complained about the puddle to orderlies and prison personnel. “I got bad eyes to begin with so I didn’t see the water. I didn’t see it, just the ping-pong ball,” the murderous mobster said.
“I was walking to get the ping-pong ball and as I rounded the stairs I must have hit the water and I slipped and landed on my knee. My head went back and I was laying in the water,” Gioeli described.
Gioeli said the cement ground — which is covered in a glossy paint — was so slippery “it was like ice.”
The former wise guy – who testified he played table tennis a few times a week for exercise — was in the hospital for 30 days following the fall.
Government lawyers displayed Gioeli’s off-brand Crocs that he and other inmates use for showers, asking if tracked water from the shoes of the 120 men in the unit caused the puddle rather than a leaking sink.
“They stamp their shoes in the shower and then they walk out…that’s not the type of water I fell in. I fell in a deep puddle,” Gioeli answered.
Later a government lawyer, Kevin Cleary, brought out a ping-pong paddle asking if it could be used as a weapon and also attempted to ask Gioeli about his “goodfellas” friends in prison – questions which Judge Kiyo Matsumoto did not allow Gioeli to respond to.
A prison orderly, Sharif Stewart, backed up Gioeli’s testimony about the slippery conditions when he told the judge he had to clean up the puddle twice daily and had complained to three different prison staffers at least five to 10 times about the slippery area and the leaky sink.
During opening statements, Gioeli’s lawyer, Thomas Sofield, said, “The evidence will show that this was nothing more than an accident waiting to happen.”
Another government lawyer, Michael Castiglione, said in opening remarks that it was “a very unfortunate accident,” but that the prison, “exercised reasonable care.”
Castiglione added that Gioeli, “knowing the risk, seeing the risk went after the ping-pong ball.”
The bench trial is expected to conclude on Tuesday with Matsumoto issuing a ruling at a later date.



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