On tape: Girls handled cop's guns while he handled babes

On tape: Girls handled cop's guns while he handled babes
Thursday, November 15, 2007 Jersey Journal

Hooters girls have now entered the fray between five Latino Hoboken police officers and their commanding officer, who they have accused in a civil lawsuit of being an "unabashed white supremacist."

According to Luis Zayas, the attorney representing the officers, a video recorded in 2005 shows Hooters restaurant hotties holding shotguns, sub-machine guns, and other SWAT team weaponry distributed to them by officers under the command of Lt. Angelo Andriani, the target of the lawsuit.

The video was made during a trip to Kenner, La., where the officers were sent to help with the post-Katrina relief effort. In September 2005, after Hurricane Katrina struck the area, Kenner was "adopted" by Hoboken as a sister city.

Andriani is also caught on tape "caressing" the breasts of a Hooters babe while wearing his Hoboken-issued commanding officer turtleneck, Zayas said.

Zayas admits three of his clients were present for the partying, but it was Andriani who, as the commanding officer, "directed, produced, and starred in the video," Zayas insisted.

Andriani, who is accused of cutting holes in a napkin and placing it over his face like a mock Ku Klux Klan hood on this same trip, couldn't be reached to comment last night.

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said yesterday he found "nothing criminal" about the tape, adding that it wouldn't exist if the plaintiffs hadn't also been engaging in the fun.

DeFazio refused to go into detail about the tape, but when asked about guns being shown, he said, "If they were, there was no evidence of criminal intent."

DeFazio's office is investigating an allegation contained in the civil suit that Andriani coerced four of the plaintiffs to work on his house when they should have been doing police work.

Last week, DeFazio's office refused to interview Detective Mario Novo because Novo wanted Zayas present during the questioning.

Yesterday, three other plaintiffs showed up for their interviews - Detectives George Fonseca, James Perez and Cesar Olavarria. But they too wanted Zayas present. DeFazio said he was willing to bend his no-attorney rule during questioning, but at a minimum the clients had to have different attorneys. The plaintiffs refused.

So according to Zayas, DeFazio then took the drastic step of subpoenaing his clients to testify before a grand jury, because attorneys are barred from sitting in on grand jury interviews.

"This is an uncharacteristic action by a prosecutor and raises a question about the impartiality of the Prosecutor's Office in this case," Zayas said.

In response, DeFazio said, "All I'm trying to do is move this investigation forward. I'm not going to comment about any subpoenas that were issued."

The fifth plaintiff, Sgt. Edwin Pantoja, is not included in this proceeding since he didn't say he worked on Andriani's house.

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