Stabbing victim testifies at nightclub trial

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Anthony Federici never saw who drew a knife on him before he collapsed in front of the Metropolis Nightclub in College Point with a deep gash across his stomach 18 months ago, he testified Tuesday morning.

But Federici’s friend, Ari Tsatsaronis, identified Nicholas Gambino from the witness stand Monday as the man who stabbed Federici and four other people outside the now-closed College Point nightclub on Aug. 4 , 2000.

Gambino, 20, of Brooklyn, is being tried in Queens Criminal Court for the five stabbings, the last in a series of violent altercations at the 123rd Street hot spot which led a judge to permanently shutter it later that month.

He was charged with numerous counts of second-degree murder and first- and second-degree assault, according to the criminal complaint filed shortly after the incident.

Officials said at the time they believed Gambino to be the nephew of two soldiers in the Gambino crime family.

Federici, 20, the son of “Tough” Tony Federici, a reputed mob boss from the Genovese crime family who owns the Parkside Restaurant in Corona, never mentioned having seen Gambino at the club that night when he took the stand Tuesday.

Federici, a Malba resident, testified that bouncers removed about 20 people from the club around 2 a.m. after a “pushing and shoving match” broke out inside.

Only moments after he stepped outside, Federici said he touched the shoulder of his friend James Mastronardi and suddenly felt a sharp pain pulling down on his abdomen, causing him to look down and see blood.

“Everything went to slow motion and I staggered and fell on the street,” he told the jury. “My intestines were exposed. I was holding them in my hands.”

Mastronardi fell alongside him, “twitching” with “blood squirting out of his neck,” he said.

Federici and Mastronardi were the most seriously injured in the stabbing, which also left Salvatore Loria, Matthew McGlynn, and Frank Traina with stab wounds.

Although he could not identify Gambino, Federici did say Mastronardi had been arguing with three people he did not know at the time of the stabbings.

Federici, now a sophomore at Boston University, removed his dark blazer and unzipped his pants at the request of Assistant District Attorney Robert Hanophy to show the jury the scar that remains on his lower abdomen.

He said the 18-month-old injury still prevents him from exercising properly because he feels pain when he plays sports.

In the Monday’s testimony, Ari Tsatsaronis, who accompanied Federici to the club that night, said he saw Gambino “taking swipes” with a folding knife before throwing it onto the roof of the club.

Making a thrusting motion forward, Tsatsaronis demonstrated how Gambino allegedly pressed the knife into Federici’s abdomen and then pulled it away.

“Who is the person that stabbed all those people that night?” Hanophy asked him on the stand.

“The defendant,” Tsatsaronis responded.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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