Teddy Persico's Wiseguy Gems: "They can't fuck with me. I got nothing to lose."
For those who enjoy wiseguy swagger, the conversational nuggets revealed in this month's federal racketeering indictment in Brooklyn of a ring of Colombo crime family operatives are not to be missed.
The best come from the mouth of a tough-talking leg-breaker named Teddy Persico Jr. Despite the royal mob blood flowing through his veins - his dad, uncle, and cousin are all top Colombo family executives - Teddy, or "Skinny" as he's also known - talks the way screenwriters wish all gangsters talked, i.e., like an old-school mobster who skipped all the lessons on how to stay out of trouble. That could be because the hard-luck mug has spent 20 of the last 25 years locked up in prison. Here are some of Skinny's gems, as presented by the old-school mob reporter, Jerry Capeci, whose column for his Gang Land news web site (pay per-view) on the case is up today on Huffington Post:
"You're not me," Persico was taped telling another mobster who, unfortunately for Skinny, was taping everything for the FBI. "If it was up to me, I'd go get a gun and shoot them, or stab them, or beat them up when I seen 'em," he said. "I got nothing. They can't fuck with me because I got nothing to lose and they got everything to lose. You can't fuck with them because you've got everything to lose and nothing to gain by getting physical. I can get physical all day long.
"I got nothing to lose, I can get crazy. I don't give a fuck; what are you going to do, put me in jail? What am I going to lose? My wife, my kids, my house that I own, my $2 million house that I own, or my car? I don't own nothing. I got no wife, I got no kids. I can act like a fool. I'm telling you what I can do, I know you can't do that, I know you don't want to do that."
This kind of talk helped a judge decide to hold Skinny without bail for the time being on charges that include extorting a demolition trucking company hired at ground zero. It also didn't help Skinny's cousin, Michael Persico, who was charged as well, and who was also detained even though he'd never been arrested before. Michael Persico, who showed up in a crushed-velvet sports jacket, is Skinny's polar opposite: an urbane, smooth operator as opposed to his lout of a cousin. That's the problem with families, the related kind as well as the Mafia kind: There's always some bad seed kicking around giving everyone else a bad name..
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