Frank Takes a Beating

cullotta-cover-web.jpgExcerpted from CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness.

Frank figured Louie would take his complaint straight to Aiuppa, so the next day he called Tony Spilotro in Las Vegas for advice. “Contact Joey Lombardo and tell him what happened. I’ll call him myself, too,” Tony said.

Frank went over to Lombardo’s brother’s restaurant, Rocky’s Steakhouse on North Avenue. He asked Rocky to contact Joe and tell him he needed to speak with him. As the two men were talking the door opened and Louie the Mooch walked in. Frank figured he was also there to reach out to Joey Lombardo.

When Louie spotted Frank he threw a punch. Frank blocked it, grabbed Louie’s arm and neck and rammed him into the wall. “You’re a dead man,” Louie hollered.At that point Rocky Lombardo yelled that he didn’t allow fighting in his place. He reminded the adversaries that his partner was underboss Jackie Cerone, and that Jackie wouldn’t like them causing trouble. Frank knew he’d better leave before he ended up with even more problems. He told Rocky he’d go to his brother’s barber shop and wait for Joe Lombardo’s call.

Lombardo called two hours later and invited Frank to meet him at a tavern. Frank took his brother along with him. When they got to the bar there were a bunch of guys outside having a cookout; one of them was Louie the Mooch. Lombardo called Frank aside and questioned him about the incident with Louie’s stepson. He asked Frank if he’d hit the kid and Frank said no.

Just then Louie walked over. “You’re a goddamn liar,” he hollered and took a swing. Frank.ducked the punch and smacked Louie in the head. Before he could do any more Lombardo grabbed his arm. “Don’t fucking hit him,” Lombardo ordered.

Frank couldn’t believe it. Everything inside him said to give Louie a good beating and Lombardo tells him not to retaliate. Louie came at him again. He threw Louie on the ground and sat on him. Lombardo kicked a brick over to Louie. He grabbed it and hit Frank in the head three or four times. While Frank was getting his head bashed in a bunch of other guys held his brother to keep him out of the fight.

Frank had taken all he was going to, Lombardo or no Lombardo. The mob big shot must have sensed that Frank was ready to blow and called for a halt in the action. “Are you satisfied, Louie?” Lombardo asked.

“Yeah, I’m done with him,” the brick-wielder said.

After Louie took off Frank was given a towel to wipe the blood from his face. He asked Lombardo, “Why the fuck did I have to take a beating from a prick like Louie?”

“I had to do it this way,” Lombardo said. “Louie came to me and said he wanted to use a ball bat on you; I wouldn’t let him. He said he’d wait until Joe [Aiuppa] got back from vacation and get the okay from him. I didn’t want that to happen, so I made this compromise to get it over with now. Louie has no more beef; it’s over. Put it on the shelf today. You might be able to take it back off later.”

Although he wasn’t happy about what had happened, Frank accepted the fact that Lombardo’s decision had probably been the right one under the circumstances. In the world of organized crime, that was the kind of logic used to settle grievances. Had Aiuppa been in town Louie might have been given more leeway in how he got his revenge.  

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