SPRINGFIELD — The region’s most notorious mafia killer was arrested Sunday and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly hurled a carton of lemonade at a female relative.
The dispute was over a sick dog, which a witness said Anthony J. Arillotta threatened to kill, according to court records.
Arillotta, 50, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Springfield District Court. Judge John McKenna set his bail at $500.
Assistant District Attorney Tyson Fung asked the judge to set bail at $2,500 cash, saying Arillotta, of Springfield, was on federal probation.
Arillotta was the federal government’s star witness in two separate mob murder trials in New York City in 2011 and 2012. He began cooperating with law enforcement shortly after his 2010 arrest, according to court filings and testimony.
In 2010 he pleaded guilty to the 2003 murders of former mentor Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and his former brother-in-law, Gary Westerman, and the attempted murder of a New York union boss. He served an eight-year prison sentence and opted out of witness protection. Sources said he returned to Springfield in the spring of 2017.
At his arraignment Monday, McKenna set Sept. 25 as a “clarification of counsel” date, saying Arillotta does not qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. Kevin Riva, a private practice bar advocate who was representing multiple defendants in district court Monday, represented Arillotta at the arraignment only.
Riva said Arillotta was working full time, and that a family member was at court to post bail.
According to Riva’s account of the incident, Arillotta is allergic to dogs; a family member left a sick dog at the home, and he wanted it removed.
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