Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Mobster Vito Pipitone's honeymoon cut short by federal indictment, heads to jail despite wife's plea
A mobster and his beautiful bride will live happily ever after - once he's finished serving his prison sentence.
Vito Pipitone, whose Hawaiian honeymoon was interrupted by a federal indictment in Brooklyn, was sentenced to 31/2 years Tuesday despite an impassioned plea for leniency from his wife.
The Bonanno crime family associate has a knack for marital missteps and probably could have gotten off with less time for stabbing two young men in Queens if not for his wiseguy antics.
When asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Pipitone, 29, copped a tough-guy attitude and clammed up.
"It would have been helpful if there had been some demonstration of remorse on the part of the defendant," snapped Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis. "I just don't get it, Mr. Pipitone."
Pipitone's foolish behavior came despite 14 letters submitted to the judge from family members and his 29-year-old wife, Paula.
"Vito and I were married on Oct. 4, 2009," she wrote Garaufis. "This was indeed the happiest day of our lives. Two days later our world was shattered and I was hoping to wake and be told it was all a bad dream."
Their wedding day was the stuff of fairy tales - the beaming bride escorted by troubadours in top hats and bridesmaids in blue gowns.
Dreamy photos were shot along the East River waterfront.
Then a lavish reception took place at Russo's on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens.
The year-long suffering wife continued, "This has not been the easiest first year of marriage, as you can imagine ... I would love for nothing more than to have a normal marriage that most take for granted."
She described her husband as "kind and warm-hearted" and determined to embark on a new career as a deejay.
Pipitone has been under house arrest and forced to wear an electronic bracelet while free on a $400,000 bond signed by his parents and in-laws.
Defense lawyer Joseph Mure said his client had suffered enough, with the honeymoon interruption and then getting booted out of the Local 79 laborer union.
"Vito Pipitone's honeymoon was basically taken from him and his wife," Mure argued. "He could've ran. He could've continued his honeymoon and enjoyed a few days with his wife."
For all the trouble it caused him, Pipitone even screwed up the beatdown - he attacked the wrong victims suspected of breaking windows at Napa & Sonoma restaurant in Whitestone, Queens, which was under mob protection.
Pipitone's brother, Anthony Pipitone, a reputed Bonanno capo, also pleaded guilty to the attack.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank noted that the attack was "an incredibly serious crime in which two men nearly died."
Vito Pipitone's lawyer made a last-minute attempt to loosen the home confinement so his client could enjoy the holidays before surrendering Jan. 12.
"If he wants to celebrate with his family he can do it at home," the prosecutor shot back.
The judge agreed.