Leopoldo Lauritano

by Jon Black

Alias: Leo Lauritano

Born: 1872






Leopoldo Lauritano owned a cof­fee house at 133 Navy St, Brooklyn. The cof­fee house was used as the head­quar­ters for the Neapolitan Navy Street Gang.

On June 24th, 1916, a meet­ing took place at Coney Island between the Sicilian Morello gang, the Neapolitan Navy Street gang and the Neapolitan Coney Island gang. The idea of the meet­ing was to dis­cuss the expan­sion of gam­bling dens in low­er Manhattan. A plan that led to a string of mur­ders across New York.

In May 1917, Ralph ‘The Barber’ Daniello, a mem­ber of the Brooklyn based Navy St gang, began to tell the police every­thing he knew about Lauritano, the Navy St crew and the recent murders.

Lauritano, received a twen­ty one year sen­tence for manslaugh­ter in 1918. On 12th January, 1926, after serv­ing only sev­en and a half years, he was paroled from Sing Sing. He was imme­di­ate­ly rear­rest­ed under an indict­ment that had been served in 1918 in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of Giuseppe Verrazano. On Thursday 14th, Judge Selah B. Strong, dis­charged Lauritano on a writ of habeas cor­pus. An action that caused an open argu­ment between the Kings County DA, Charles Dodd, and Judge Strong.

Lauritano returned to court in February 1927, he was tried at the Brooklyn Supreme Court under Judge James Cropsey. He was charged with per­jury dur­ing the tri­al of Anthony Paretti, where Lauritano had stat­ed he did not know the defen­dant or his asso­ciates. The ADA, James Cuff, man­aged to pro­duce a pho­to of Lauritano in the Navy St café with fel­low gang mem­bers, thus prov­ing his tes­ti­mo­ny false. Lauritano received five years in Sing Sing.