Saturday, October 20, 2007

Son of Mob Boss Arrested

The politically connected son of a late Chicago mob boss is under arrest on armed robbery charges.

He has one of the most feared last names in the Chicago Outfit - Lamantia. His name is Rocky and his late father's name was Joe, but they called him "Shorty" for his squat stature. On Thursday, the I-Team learned that Rocky LaMantia is in big trouble.

Witnesses say four men walked into a pawn shop at 647 W. Roosevelt Rd. At lunchtime Wednesday and began smashing display cases with hatchets. They allegedly used the tools to hold off employees and customers and escaped with $175,000 in new diamond rings and gold chains. Among them, according to police: Rocco "Rocky" LaMantia, who has had a history of robbery and drug convictions and beat a murder rap 25 years ago.

LaMantia's lawyer, Joe Lopez, known as The Shark for his vigorous defense of mobsters, said in the pawn shop heist, Rocky is being railroaded. "My client was there to redeem some of the goods that were previously given to the shop owner and had the money to redeem the goods. While he was there, these other individuals came in and violently attacked the patrons that were there. They violently smashed the cabinets, from my understanding, and took jewelry out of there, ordered my client onto the ground," said Lopez.

Witnesses say LaMantia drove the hatchet-wielding thugs to and from the pawn shop and that the blades were actually left behind. Lopez maintains his client is an innocent victim and a witness.

LaMantia is the son of the late South Side rackets boss Joseph "Shorty" LaMantia and were linked to the city hall hired truck scandal. Rocky LaMantia once had city truck contracts, and his wife used to work in Mayor Daley's budget office, which ran the hired truck program. The LaMantias have not been charged in that case, but Rocky's lawyer said authorities will no doubt try to use his Italian heritage against him. "Of course they're going to use his family background to dirty him up," said Lopez.

The owner of the pawn shop said Rocky Lamantia had been a customer for six or seven years. LaMantia was arrested when he returned to the shop-after the armed robbery, supposedly to check on the victims.

Forty-eight-year-old LaMantia was a fixture in the gallery at this summer's Family Secrets mob trial. He said he was gathering material for a book on his mob family and even asked if the I-Team's Chuck Goudie wanted to write it for him. It was an offer Goudie refused.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

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