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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sopranos and Bronx Tale actor Lilo Brancato sued over prison assault

TV tough guy Lillo Brancato just can’t stay out of trouble.
A fellow inmate has filed a lawsuit against the hot-tempered “Sopranos” actor for a vicious beatdown he suffered when Brancato allegedly attacked him for talking on a prison phone.
Small-time thief Alvaro Hernandez, 40, filed the suit in Queens Supreme Court seeking unspecified damages for injuries he suffered last Jan. 26 in a common room at now-closed Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, NY.
Hernandez was on the phone chatting with his wife, Barbie Hernandez, when an enraged Brancato, 35, demanded that he hang up.
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When the smaller Hernandez refused to cut his call short, the thuggish thespian — who played Robert DeNiro’s son in “A Bronx Tale” — spat at him and then pounced, the suit said.
“[Hernandez] was just talking to his wife and minding his own business, and it was a brutal assault, sudden and painful. From what I understand, this is in keeping with Lillo’s character, which is very violent,” said Eric Schneider, a lawyer from upstate Kingston representing Hernandez.
Hernandez, in prison on a burglary conviction, was transferred to the state prison in Coxsackie, where Schneider said he’s still suffering from the injuries, which included an epileptic seizure, bruises and a back injury.
Brancato is serving a 10-year sentence for his role in a drug-related burglary in which accomplice Steven Armento shot and killed NYPD cop Daniel Enchautegui.
When the Oneida facility was closed, Brancato was transferred to the state prison in upstate Hudson.
At the time of the attack, Hernandez said, Brancato was acting like one of the mob thugs from the famed HBO series.
“He thinks he runs the place, like he’s God’s gift to this earth. He tells me, ‘Hang up the phone! I gotta use the phone!’” Hernandez told The Post at the time.
“He forces open the door and spits at me, and he’s punching me in the face and on the head,” he said, adding that Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress witnessed the fight while serving time on his infamous gun rap.
Schneider said he may call Burress to the stand if the suit goes to trial.
After an investigation, Brancato, 33, lost phone and commissary privileges and was “Tblocked”— confined to his cell for 23 hours a day for a month.


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