The New York Criminal Law Blog

Charges Dropped in Brooklyn Pizza Chef vs Mob Member Knife Fight

In April, Lucali pizza chef Mark Iacono and alleged Genovese family mobster Benny Geritano knifed it out on the Brooklyn streets. Now, both men have refused to testify against the other and the Brooklyn district attorney has dropped all charges.

The fight happened in Carroll Gardens just a few blocks from Iacono’s celebrated Lucali pizzeria reports The New York Times. It’s unclear what precipitated the fight — a dispute over a woman, money issues, attempted mob intimidation have all been suggested — but the two men were reportedly in a furious argument at a nearby deli, when their dispute spilled into the streets and knives were drawn.

According to The Times, both men slashed at each other resulting in Iacono suffering significant blood loss and Geritano being literally stabbed in the back. As police were unsure who started the fight, both men were arrested and charged with attempted murder along with other crimes.

But as both men faced criminal charges, both pled the Fifth Amendment fearing self-incrimination, and refused to testify against the other.

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives individuals the right to refuse to answer any questions or make any statements that can incriminate them in a crime. As both men were suspects in the crime, any statements they made against the other, could have been used against themselves.

So without the testimony of at least one of the men, the prosecutors did not have a case and were forced to dismiss all charges.

Both Mark Iacono and Benny Geritano were reportedly happy with the result, proving that knife fights with Brooklyn mob members do not always have to have unhappy endings.

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