Tommy Karate's "Invisible" Prison Assault


On August 11, 1996, the seemingly impossible happened at the high-security U.S. Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.
Imprisoned Bonanno crime family member Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera.was sanctioned by prison officials for committing the assault
Tommy Pitera, right, with Bonanno boss Spero.

An inmate was "serious[ly] assaulted," yet an incident report suggests there was little physical evidence in terms of wounds. Some witnesses said they could see no wounds. The inmate himself, who appeared "nervous," denied that he'd been assaulted. Nevertheless, he'd been beaten repeatedly in the face with a metal object that was never found.

Imprisoned Bonanno crime family member Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera was sanctioned by prison officials for committing the assault.

If not for the testimony of several Confidential Informants (all of whom feared for their lives), prison officials never would've nabbed Pitera for the assault.

To try something new and to show that it's not my intention to exaggerate, I include excerpts from high-level security Discipline Hearing Officer Report (DHO) number 430571 dated August 29, 1996.

Tommy with Celeste.

Tommy Karate sent the document via a third-party. (No, I didn't trek up to Allenwood, though Tommy invited me to speak with him under two conditions, one of which I am unable to meet.) He sent this to me in response to comments made on this blog that claimed Pitera was a rat.

Tommy chose to risk the death penalty and a lifetime in
prison to protect  these and others, some of whom later flipped.
Ironically on the night of Tommy's arrest, the Bonanos
were busy reburying bodies.

Is Tommy Karate trying to tell us -- or rather tell someone he believes made the comment -- something between the lines? You have your opinion, I have mine.

I may post the full documents at the end - but for now we'll do with cropped excerpts I have incorporated into the story.

Pitera holds hand over his mouth. "He was so surveillance-minded
I couldn't make any money with him," Frank Gangi told me.

As to what exactly happened to the inmate, whose name Tommy Pitera blackened out before sending me the document (he used the yellow highlighter, as well), the report says:

The document further notes:

And the final result of the assault, Pitera was sent to 45 days in segregation.

To underline the most intriguing part of this story,

On June 25, 1992, Pitera was convicted of murdering six people and supervising a massive drug dealing operation in Brooklyn. (He was acquitted of the 1988 "Willie Boy" Johnson murder).

The jury rejected the death penalty for Pitera, so in October 1992, Judge Reena Raggi sentenced him to life in prison.

On April 3, 2012, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied Pitera's motion for DNA testing of the guns and other evidence in three of Pitera's murders.

Tommy in his heyday.

Pitera sent me a number of documents, including his correspondence with Philip Carlo. As noted, I am currently writing two books about Pitera, one is Frank Gangi's memoir -- while the other centers on the Carlo-Pitera letters (in which Carlo makes some startling confessions, including that he'd been had by the Ice Man.)

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