Volume 76, Number 40 | February 28 - March 6, 2007

No one saw it coming as Gypsy rumble in Soho spills into lounge

By Lincoln Anderson

A feud between Gypsies turned violent in Soho on Tuesday night Feb. 20, when several men attacked a local fortuneteller and her husband.

According to Elaine Marino, the incident started when three Gypsies tried to break into her daughter-in-law Linda’s white Porsche, which was parked near Linda’s business, Summer Visions & Psychic Predictions, at Spring and Sullivan Sts. Marino said that when her daughter came out of the shop, they assaulted her on the sidewalk. Marino’s son, Jesse, Linda’s husband, also was attacked by the men, his mother said. (Marino declined to provide the last names of her son and daughter-in-law.)

While being pursued by one of the men, Jesse then ran into the Soho Room bar across the street, where they briefly grappled and rolled on the floor in front of shocked bar patrons, after which the attackers ran off.

Police and an Emergency Medical Service van arrived at the scene after the attackers had fled. Jesse and Linda were first taken to Beekman Hospital, and then to St. Vincent’s Hospital, receiving treatment at the latter, and were released.

Speaking on Wednesday, the Soho Room’s manager, who declined to give his name, said, “The guy ran in here for help and they followed him. They were in here less than 30 seconds — it was an in-and-out thing. It had nothing to do with this place.”

The manager said the video cameras outside the bar are only for monitoring, used to observe the sidewalk activity from the bar’s rear office; they don’t record.

According to a witness at the bar, the attackers were enraged at Jesse for having sex with his “first cousin,” and had already beaten him up in Florida for this once before.

Marino claimed the men had been “stalking” her son and his wife. She, too, said the feud stemmed from earlier trouble with the men during an encounter in Florida.

“It’s some kind of jealousy, vendetta, from Florida,” she said. Asked what type of jealousy, she said, “Some jealousy over a car.

“We’re not part of the same clan. They’re from Canada,” she said of the assailants. Her son Jesse grew up in the neighborhood, and Linda owns another psychic shop nearby, she said. They are all Romani, Gypsies, she said.

Details of the incident were not available by press time from the First Precinct, and the Police Department press office did not have any information about it.

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