Letters for April 1, 2004

Criminals: We Love 'em

 But this copper has some sense: I just finished reading Trevor Aaronson's March 25 article regarding Johnny Mamone ("The Snitch"). I thought I would provide you with a little more information in respect to his so-called family life and "non-criminal" activities.

For more than 21 years, I served as a police officer with the City of Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The vast majority of my career was spent assigned to the department's organized crime unit. My duties included investigation of members of both traditional and non-traditional organized crime groups.

As the Commander of the Organized Crime Division, and also the coach of my son's football team in Coral Springs, I was shocked when I walked up to the athletic center and found Johnny Mamone handing out football equipment. Over the next several months I noted and reported on Mamone's activities. What further surprised me was that many of the other parents knew of the rumors of his past, and he was still openly accepted as a football coach and mentor to young kids. What is wrong with these parents who are happy to have a criminal interacting with their children?

Mamone would on occasion bring his team of 8-year-old kids to the game in a black limo and then take them out for ice cream after the game. Many of the parents thought it was great -- taking pictures of their kids riding in a limo with a notorious Mob member. What were they thinking?

Mamone's indictments came down just before the Junior Super Bowl games. I was working with the FBI, trying to convince them to time the arrest to occur during halftime. After the game, I was handed a petition that asked the federal judge to allow Mamone a bond. These petitions were being passed around by soccer moms as if they were inviting someone to attend a Tupperware party. I declined to sign but offered the following: "If he does get out, why don't we arrange to have a parade with Mamone as the Grand Marshal?" Again, what were these people thinking?

After retiring from FLPD, I relocated out of state. Part of the reason was because of what I just described. Everywhere you go, you find criminals, but only in South Florida are they placed on a pedestal.

Thomas J. Tiderington

Police Chief

Plymouth Township, MI

Would that make him an assoholic?: As a long-time reader, first-time responder, I thoroughly enjoyed Courtney Hambright's Night Court column about Assman's Wacky World ("Rear Entry," March 25). Courtney is a true talent and a woman who has proven she can hold her own in a party bar, even when alongside a true party professional like the Assman. I would like to get my hands on some bootleg copies of her research tapes from that night if at all possible, regardless of her price.

As a first-time patron (but now an Assoholic Anonymous regular), I just happened to be at Assman's the same night that Ms. Hambright was there for her story. I also strapped on a rubber ass and papier mâché top hat decorated with tiny plastic palm trees and partook in the fun that seems to permeate the newly opened restaurant/nightclub. Courtney was too unnerved by the blatant assumption that the place treats women like nothing but objects. There's nothing unassuming about the smiles on the men's and women's faces, nor anything wrong with people defining their own concept of what being wacky is all about. Thank God there is finally a place in Fort Lauderdale that caters to having fun. If Courtney so desires, on her next visit she can bring an anti-sexism paddle and discipline any man that only looks at women to check out their asses. The irony is that, while such behavior will garnish a lifetime ban from a place like Shooters, it just may land her a job offer from Assman.

I love the place, and I'm not alone. The Assman is a real person, the type of charismatic guy everyone loves to be around, someone who knows how to have fun at no one's expense. He makes people feel important, welcome, a part of a family of people dedicated to enjoying life.

Bob Dovolina

Oakland Park

That one's a potboiler: I took great offense to the title of Trevor Aaronson's piece ("Father Gomorrah," March 18), having met this gentle man -- John Joseph Reid -- on many occasions. But after I finished it, I decided that your title would get more people to read the excellent and balanced story. You are a credit to your trade!

Jim Eckels

Fort Lauderdale

The doc's just trying to help: I am a registered nurse who works in labor and delivery, and I read Celeste Fraser Delgado's article, "Cuts You Up" (March 18), with great interest. It appears that New Times is trying to educate the public about choices in childbirth, for which I commend you. But I am concerned that you have attempted to do so in a biased and very dangerous way.

You fail to mention why Janessa Wasserman had a C-section with her first son. You imply that it was unnecessary, stating that she was "failing to progress," yet the fact that she had an internal fetal monitor indicates that there must have been signs throughout her labor of some sort of fetal distress. Being an attorney, what would Mrs. Wasserman have done if the C-section was not done and she delivered a baby with severe brain damage?

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