Bath Ave. Crew Member "Crazy Joey" Wants Story Told

Joey Calco
Publishers Marketplace reports: "The Joey Calco Story (former Bonanno hitman) by Richard Cagan (out May 2014)."

Cagan is a published author of several books, including one mob book, Mafia Cop: The Two Families of Michael Palermo; Saints Only Live in Heaven. I've never read it or him.

Looks like former Bath Avenue Crew member Joey Calco wants to tell his story. It was supposed to have been released already -- only, where is it?

As many of you -- especially former and current residents of  Bath Beach -- no doubt recall, Calco — a turncoat with two murder convictions under his belt — had reinvented himself in the witness protection program as Joseph Milano, the owner of Goomba’s Pizza in Florida.

But that version of life imploded on him back in 2009, when he made that infamous videotaped leap over the counter seen 'round the world after two customers had the balls to complain and then demand their money back because Joey screwed up their calzone.

Calco proceeded to pistol whip the customers brutally, and the attack was caught on the pizzeria's own video camera. The pizzeria's own video camera, I repeat.

The former Bath Ave. Boy was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the calzone beatdown and possession of a gun. Maybe this screwed up the book plans? I searched and can't find any other mention of The Joey Calco Story.

Back in 2004, Calco, now 45, helped prosecutors put away former Bonanno consiglieri Anthony Spero in return for only nine years in prison.

Not bad for two murders. Frank Gangi did even better. He cooperated and got 10 years for five murders -- and even bitched at the judge that it was too much time. Tommy Pitera got a laugh out of that one.

Gangi found a hell of a way out of a drunk driving charge, though, you gotta admit. Cop to involvement in a large number of gangland homicides instead of accepting punishment for drunk driving.

That's what he was arrested for, drunk driving, after he brought police on a wild chase through Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in April 1990.
Joey leaps across counter...

As Jerry Capeci noted:
He was taken to the 62nd Precinct and absolutely floored the cops, who were pissing and moaning about all the paperwork they had ahead of them. 
He told them he was a serial killer and wanted to confess his sins, tell authorities where the bodies were buried, cooperate and start a new life for himself. “The feds have already approached me. Now I’m ready,” Gangi said. 
Gangi made good on his promise. He served up Bonanno mobster Thomas (Tommy Karate) Pitera for a litany of brutal murders that landed Pitera in federal prison for life and earned Gangi a new lease on his.

Authorities, in the end, dug up the remains of five bodies -- all of which had been dismembered and buried in marshland on Staten Island by Pitera and Gangi, who admitted roles in five slayings, including a woman. Pitera believed it was a great burial ground because it was a federal nature preserve.

Judge Reena Raggi of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn told Gangi: “I still have hope for you; you still will have a chance for a life, which is more than those five people you killed will.”

She sentenced him to 10 years. Maybe it's me, but most gangsters in Gangi's shoes would likely consider that one hell of a break, considering the body count. But not Gangi.

His new life began in December [1998], when he got out of prison after serving eight and a half years and was given a new identity under the federal Witness Protection Program. A few months later, he'd been nabbed twice for drunk driving in his new hometown and jailed for violating parole.

He was brought back to Brooklyn on June 15 [1999] and made a personal plea to the same judge, back in her chambers.

She gave him another chance, releasing him as long as he agreed to start dealing with his problems with drinking and driving. He was also required to go to work and report once a week to parole officials. 

Capeci offered further insight:
Pitera, who berated Gangi after he appealed his sentence for “weeping and whimpering to the judge” instead of taking his punishment “like a man,” couldn’t be reached for comment at Leavenworth. But Pitera’s trial lawyer, Mathew Mari, had this reaction: “This slap on the wrist bolsters Tommy’s nine-year contention that Gangi was given a lifetime license to kill and can get away with anything and everything.”
Bet Pitera wishes Gangi had sought counseling for his abuse of alcohol prior to that police chase in Brooklyn. Tommy Karate might still be on the streets, which is a truly terrifying thought for many people, I bet.


  1. great story Ed,thank you.

  2. Bobby DeCicco? This guy? From something I am currently working on: "In 2007, two mob-related shootings occurred in the Bath Ave. area, Robert DeCicco, then 56, whose father is a long-time capo in the Gambino family, was shot while sitting in a parked car on Bath Avenue. He survived. Then, only two days later, Rudolph "Rudy Cue Ball" Izzi, 74, a soldier with the Genovese crime family, was not so lucky. He was shot to death in his Shore Parkway home, about a mile and a half from where DeCicco was shot.

    Would you know anything about the shooting, whether the two are related?

  3. Was wondering when his name would pop up.?

  4. Nice article, funny too.You would have nailed it with more info.

  5. U just summed up his book and 15minutes to
    fame was his turning on Anthony spero and got another 5 mins for beating up old people these bath row kids should be real proud of themselves bunch of handjobs .philly

  6. Bath Beach is mostly Russian and Chinese these days. They're probably trying to beat each other out to make a quick buck. Who really cares? They were short lived. When the real pressure came they crumbled like a potato chips. When I was much younger I had a chance to throw into a crew, but I looked around me and saw so many that resembled this Bath Avenue crew, and that's what made go legit. They all would have been eventually ordered whacked by the higher ups.

  7. Such as? So I know in general.....

  8. Ed, i tried to for humor.Didn't work. As anonymous said you only had 20 minutes to work with

  9. A reader shared some info with me. Richard Cavan, the writer slated to write the Calco book, has died of cancer, which is why the book was never completed. Also Calco was not participating, I've also heard.


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