A Brooklyn judge sprang a violent mobster from prison because he said the federal Bureau of Prisons did a lousy job taking care of the wiseguy’s medical problems.
Federal Court Judge Raymond Dearie issued a scathing ruling Thursday, saying the feds weren’t competently treating made man Vincent “Chickie” DeMartino’s maladies. The goodfella had more than two years left of his 25-year sentence for an attempted hit on a fellow Colombo family member.
“Mr. DeMartino’s age, the amount of time he has served in prison, his deteriorating health — in particular, complications with his right eye — and the Bureau of Prison’s cavalier attitude in addressing these conditions, present extraordinary and compelling circumstances,” Dearie wrote, ordering DeMartino be released from West Virginia prison FCC Hazelton to home confinement.
DeMartino, 66, was convicted of the 2001 botched hit of Joseph Campanella as he was packing a beach chair into his car in Coney Island. DeMartino fired at least four shots at the rival mobster, hitting him in the arm and foot, but leaving him alive and willing to testify against him.
It wasn’t DeMartino’s first run in with the law. He was convicted of threatening to murder a man in 1983 and breaking every window in the guy’s house with a baseball bat. He was also found guilty of a 1985 armed robbery of a Chase bank branch in Brooklyn.
DeMartino is also a publicly named — though never charged — suspect in the 1999 rubout of William “Wild Bill” Cutolo.
Since his conviction in the Campanella shooting in 2004, DeMartino’s list of medical conditions has grown, and the federal jailers responsible for taking care of his health have failed to do so, Judge Dearie said.
“Mr. DeMartino’s circumstances are made all the more extraordinary and compelling by the BOP’s lack of responsiveness and candor with respect to his medical conditions,” Dearie wrote.
The jurist noted DeMartino’s documented “high blood pressure, high choleterol, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiac arrhythmia, obesity, and knee problems,” but said that the “gravest threat” to the mobster’s health is his incredibly serious eye issues.
“The record reflects a consistent pattern on the part of the [Bureau of Prisons] of downplaying Mr. DeMartino’s conditions and delaying treatment. Despite the severity of his ocular conditions, it has been a herculean task for Mr. DeMartino to see an ophthalmologist,” Dearie wrote.
“The [Bureau of Prisons] is not a common jailor. Theirs is a far more challenging and vital responsibility. Human beings are entrusted to their care for decades on end. There is no excuse for inaction or dissembling and, in this Court’s view, no alternative to immediate release,” Dearie concluded.
The feds declined to comment.
“We are grateful to the court for acknowledging what the Federal Bureau of Prisons would not: that Mr. DeMartino suffers from serious health problems that require urgent and ongoing attention and treatment,” said DeMartino’s lawyer, Benjamin Yaster.