Little Italy activist charged in car incident He is accused of trying to hit newsletter publisher

April 07, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A confrontation in Little Italy -- apparently over an article in a neighborhood newsletter -- has led to the arrest of community activist Roberto L. Marsili Sr., who is accused of trying to run over the newsletter's publisher with his car.

Marsili, 65, was charged with reckless endangerment and second-degree assault Saturday after Luigi Boeri, publisher of La Verita (The Truth), said Marsili tried to run him over.

"He drove his car up onto the pavement," said Boeri, 65, who was sitting on the steps of Capriccio Restaurant at High and Fawn streets about 3 p.m., when the incident is alleged to have occurred. "If he had continued, he would have hit the two guys I was with.

"But he stopped, they moved out of the way, and then Bert [Marsili] drove up on the curb. I had to jump up on the top step, or he would have crushed my legs."

Marsili, a stonemason known for his outspokenness as a member of the Little Italy Community Organization (LICO), was arrested about 4 p.m. by Officer Paul Sacca.

In January, Marsili was arrested and charged with punching a 77-year-old man during an argument about a community crime prevention meeting. He was found not guilty -- as was the other man, whom Marsili accused of battery.

Boeri said an article in Saturday's edition of La Verita might have led to the confrontation. The article accused Marsili of falsely taking credit for preventing an increase in the price of Little Italy's residential parking permits.

According to that article, Marsili circulated a flier, "The Guardian," in the neighborhood March 21 in which he claimed that LICO had persuaded city officials to curb a proposed increase in the residential parking fees. In the flier, Marsili said the city's decision was a direct result of action taken by LICO at a March 18 meeting.

But the city's decision not to increase the parking fee was made before the March 18 meeting. George G. Balog, director of public works, announced the city's decision in a letter dated March 12.

Marsili was being held yesterday at the Central Booking and Intake Center and could not be reached for comment.

Pub Date: 4/07/97

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