Friday, April 10, 2009

Gambling suspect dies in NYPD custody

Samuel Nastasa, 72, suffered an apparent heart attack and died while being arrested in a Brooklyn gambling raid early Tuesday afternoon, according to a story by Alison Gendar and John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Police raided the Banner Civic Social Club on 72nd Street at about 1:30 p.m. Authorities believed the club to be a gambling den run by the Bonanno Crime Family and considered Nastasa a caretaker of the club.

Nastasa collapsed as he was being cuffed. Detectives reportedly called for an ambulance and administered CPR. Nastasa was taken to Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he was declared dead at 3:10 p.m.

A report issued through the police commissioner's office indicated that Nastasa's death was due to natural causes and suggested that Nastasa had a preexisting medical condition. Nastasa's family told the press that he had no known medical problems. Relatives blamed the police for taking too long to get him help.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.