Wiseguy to hit mattress on bottom
By JOHN MARZULLI
March 12, 2010
A judge has ordered a top-to-bottom overhaul of a Bonanno crime family tough guy's sleeping arrangements.
Reputed mob associate James Malpeso complained his aching back and knee make it too painful to hoist himself up to the top bunk in his cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
"IT WOULD MAKE HIS SLEEPING CONDITIONS EASIER AND LESS PAINFUL IF HE WAS IN THE BOTTOM DUNK," defense lawyer VINCENT ROMANO argued yesterday.
Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis asked the prosecutor to intervene, observing that "what may seem like an inconsequential request is consequential to the defendant."
A Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman said top and bottom bunks are randomly assigned. Inmates can be cited for a rule infraction if they make a switch on their own, she said.
Malpeso's ailments did not stop him from climbing in and out of his super-sized Cadillac Escalade - in which, cops say, he threatened at gunpoint a deadbeat who owed him $110,000.
"I'm gonna take the cannon [gun] I have ... and I'm gonna put a f------ hole in you somewhere," Malpeso said in a threat caught on tape.
Prosecutors say Malpeso was charging the victim 250% interest a year. The burly loan shark pleaded not guilty yesterday to extortion charges in Brooklyn Federal Court.