Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chickie DeMartino

The Colombo War did a lot of damage to the family.  Last week I told some of the Michael Persico story.  A lot of those crimes date back to the war and the FBI keeps getting these guys for their crimes.  One of those surviving a long sentence is Vincent “Chickie” DeMartino, but he went on trial with Wild Bill Cutolo and crew for their part in the war.  They were acquitted of the racketeering charges.   

Chickie had a long history of run ins with the law starting with his first prison stint.
In 1984 Jack Graziano, Gabe Scianna and Chickie were dealing in stolen cars. Jack Graziano was supposed to distribute the proceeds but he didn't do it quick enough so Chickie told him he would kill him.  The FBI had a wiretap and caught this on tape.  Chickie and Gabe went to Jack's home with baseball bats and smashed every window in his house along with his car.  One of Jack’s children was hurt by the flying glass.  

A five man hit team was waiting for Vic Orena, Boss of the rebel faction of the Colombo Family, Vic spotted them and was able to drive away before they could shoot him.  One of those on the hit team was a Persico loyalist named Hank “The Bank” Smurra.

Chickie was fresh out of prison for a bank robbery conviction and he had just been inducted into the family. He had decided to stick with the rebel faction and he became one of their most ardent supporters.  

When the rebels decided to hit one of the Persico’s most dangerous Capos - Greg Scarpa, Chickie was on the hit team.  Chickie was in the van that brought the shooters to Scarpa’s home.  He charged out with the others but one of the men was nervous and his gun went off when they were getting out of the van.  Greg Scarpa was able to drive away.

They decided to go after Hank Smurra who had been with the hit team that let Vic get away. Hank was in Sheepshead Bay getting some donuts with Mike “Black Mike” Calla when Chickie walked up to the car and blasted him.  Black Mike was able to run away without getting hit by the shots.  

He was in on a planned hit on two of Greg Scarpa’s men, but while they were waiting one of the team’s pistols misfired, so they called it off.  Chickie was running and gunning until he was arrested with a pistol along with others.  The whole time Chickie was running around blasting people he was on parole.  

Chickie’s run came to an end after the Colombo War.  He had a long time beef with Joe “Joe Campy” Campanella so after Wild Bill Cutolo disappeared, he lobbied for the death of Joe Campy.  The Persicos gave him the hit.  So he had his associate borrow his wife’s blue mini van and they caught up with Joe Campy on the beach.  Joe was placing a beach chair in his trunk when the blue van stopped and the door slid open.  Chickie let his hate for Joe Campy overcome his common sense so he yelled “Joe Campy” before firing, and this gave Joe time to raise his arm and run.  He only wounded Joe Campy and there were a lot of witnesses, so it was not to hard to track the men down.

Chickie will be released from Butner FMC on January 1st, 2025 and he will be 69 years old.  Maybe age will slow him down.  Chickie was beaten up in prison by John Baudanza and a friend, but knowing John, he “Japped him”

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