Reputed mob underboss Marty Angelina, known for his quick temper and corner-boy arrogance, has been charged with aggravated assault after allegedly spitting on a police officer in Margate, N.J., during a confrontation last week.
Angelina, 47, was released on $2,500 bail after the incident Sept. 1 at the Margate police station, according to police Lt. Ken Bergeron.
The case attracted no media attention when it occurred. It is now in the hands of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, which could decide to seek a grand jury indictment.
Angelina's arrest is the latest in a series of public flaps for the less-than-circumspect mobster, once described by a federal prosecutor as a "bully running with a gang of misfits."
Sources said reputed mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi is less than pleased with Angelina's antics, which include an arrest for drunken driving in Philadelphia, two parole violations, and publicity about an internal mob struggle involving gambling, loan-sharking, and death threats.
Angelina's short fuse and flamboyant style are clearly at odds with Ligambi's low-key, circumspect business approach, law enforcement investigators say.
One of nearly a dozen mobsters and mob associates, including Ligambi, who summered in Margate this year, Angelina was staying at a condo on Coolidge Street, where the latest incident began.
Police were called to the condo around 5:50 a.m. Sept. 1 after neighbors complained of noise, according to Bergeron.
Sources familiar with the incident said that Angelina and an unidentified girlfriend had had several oral confrontations at bars that night and that the contretemps continued at the condo they were sharing.
Angelina, who was described as belligerent to police, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge and taken to the police station, according to Bergeron.
About three hours later, as he was being released, Angelina got into an argument with Officer Christopher Taroncher, who was escorting him from a holding cell.
"He was mouthy and started arguing with the officer who was releasing him," Bergeron said. "Then he spit in his face."
With that, Angelina was charged with aggravated assault and returned to his cell.
He was released later that morning after arranging to post $2,500 bail.
A hearing on the disorderly conduct charge is scheduled for Monday in Municipal Court. The aggravated assault charge is pending action by the Prosecutor's Office, Bergeron said.
Angelina, according to an organizational chart compiled by the Philadelphia Police Department, is the acting underboss, or number-two man, in the Philadelphia mob.
Law enforcement and underworld sources say he was tapped for that position because of his close ties to jailed mob leader Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino. Angelina was considered one of Merlino's closest underworld allies and served as a street-level enforcer for the crime boss in the 1990s.
In 2001, Angelina was sentenced to 78 months in prison after being convicted on racketeering charges along with Merlino and five codefendants. The charges included an allegation that he once threatened a bookmaker with a baseball bat.
Angelina had an earlier confrontation with law enforcement in Margate. He got into a shouting match with federal authorities in June 1999 as they were in the process of arresting Merlino. Both Merlino and Angelina were summering in Margate that year.
The arrest was a precursor to the racketeering charges that led to their convictions in 2001.
Angelina was not charged at that point, but a federal agent later testified about how a then-200-pound Angelina had begun to rant and rave at the arresting officers outside Merlino's condo.
"He was bouncing around like a drunken penguin," the agent said.