||New York| Louis Pioggi
Louis "Louie the Lump" Pioggi was a New York criminal and member of the Five Points Gang, known most prominently for the murder of Eastman Gang leader Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach and Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis.
Louie the Lump
Although newspaper accounts report Pioggi was employed as a clerk in a Coney Island hospital with no criminal record, Pioggi apparently became associated with members of the Five Points Gang during their decade-long gang war with the Eastman Gang.
On the night of May 14, 1908, Pioggi was confronted by Max Zwerbach and Vach Lewis over a Coney Island dance hall girl, Carrol Terry and eventually forced to jump out the first story window of a saloon. After returning to Five Points Gang leader Paul Kelly , Pioggi returned to the saloon and lured the two into the street where they were ambushed by members of the Five Points Gang and gunned down. Police on the other hand claims that Pioggi was the one pulling the trigger and had no fellow Five Pointers with him. When Pioggi was running away from the scene, a police officer was yelling Pioggi to halt, when Pioggi turned over and shot one bullet straight at the officer piercing his hat.
During his trial, Pioggi claimed that Zwerbach and Lewis had confronted him with members of their gang at his hotel with the intentions of murdering him. Forced out into the street, he went on to say that he then shot both of them before they were able to get out their pistols. His lawyer, John S. Bennett, issued a statement to the court that for the safety of his client, Pioggi would choose not to stand trial and plead guilty to manslaughter as his testimony might incriminate certain figures of the cities underworld. Bennett's claims were further supported by Edward Reardon, formerly of the District Attorney's office, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, brother of slain gangster Richie Fitzpatrick, however apparently neither man appeared at the trial.
Pioggi was later sentenced to one year at Elmira Reformatory, and following his release, he was later charged with violation of the Sullivan Law in April 1912 and jumped bail. Shortly after this, one of Pioggi's friends, Charley Torti, was accused of shooting arch-rival Jack Zelig on the steps of the Tombs on Pioggi's orders in June 1912. On the run for three years, Pioggi was eventually arrested in Times Square by detectives of the District Attorney's office on July 28, 1915. At his arraignment, he was imprisoned in the Tombs without bail to await his trial. However, he disappeared from public record thereafter.
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