Prosecution unlikely for attempted curse

Punishment will come in court of public opinion


NEW YORK — Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson gave a Bronx cheer on Monday to any suggestion that rogue construction worker and Red Sox fan Gino Castignoli should be tarred and feathered — or at least prosecuted — for burying a David Ortiz jersey in the concrete of the new Yankee Stadium.

Castignoli, a Bronx subcontractor who worked at the stadium site for one day, has already taken a beating on blogs and at breakfast tables for his attempt to curse the Yankees.

On Monday, the district attorney and Castignoli’s attorney joined New York sports fans in their chiding of the Yankees for asking that Castignoli be prosecuted on criminal mischief charges.


Even misdemeanor criminal mischief charges come with the minimal legal standard that the criminal act caused more than $250 worth of damage. Johnson spokesman Steve Reed said the district attorney would "have to know all the facts" to determine whether the prank meets that standard.

Reed, who said Johnson is a Mets fan, continued: "It’s unlikely, given our limited resources, we would use them for something of this nature."

In other words, Castignoli’s fate might be decided by public opinion, or in civil court, but the latter might be a bit of a stretch, said lawyer Ron Kuby.

"I suppose it’s a violation of contract . . . But what are the damages?" said Kuby, who called the controversy "a funny story of a pathetic Red Sox fan" who tried to "engage in supernatural mischief."

Castignoli has retained an attorney, Murray Richman of the Bronx, famous for defending accused gangsters and murderers. Richman referred to the Yankees’ request for charges as "silly" and "transparent."

He continued: "It was a lark. Doesn’t anybody get it?"

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