A priest was witness for the prosecution Wednesday, as the state sought to prove that a Staten Island restaurateur who wanted the job catering lunches to a Catholic high school threatened a competing bidder with a gun, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Rev. Michael Reilly, principal of St. Joseph by the Sea, told the court that the preferred candidate for the catering contract, Walter Bowers, seemed “Very, very nervous … he was looking around in a lot of different directions. He apparently didn’t want to be seen with me.”
Under cross examination by the defense, Reilly said Bowers told him, “‘I got a visit.’”
That visit, prosecutors say, was from the defendant, Frank DiMattina, 43, of Huguenot – a reputed Genovese crime family associate who formerly owned Ariana’s Catering Hall in New Dorp.
After hearing that Bowers would likely win the school lunch contract, DiMattina allegedly dropped by Bowers’ shop, warned him to withdraw from the bidding, and lifted his shirt to show an automatic handgun in his waistband, authorities said.
A confidential FBI informant in another crime family also told investigators that DiMattina put a gun to the competitor’s chest.