Friday, February 27, 2004

Daniel Pelosi, left, of Center Moriches, N.Y., and his attorney Graham Mottola, right, appeared before a judge yesterday in a courtroom in Wailuku. Pelosi was ordered to stay away from alcohol until his trial for assaulting a crew member last month during a Maui dinner cruise.

Suspect in ship assault
is banned from alcohol

Daniel Pelosi is also a possible
suspect in a businessman's killing

WAILUKU >> A man identified as a possible suspect in the slaying of a New York banker was ordered yesterday to stay away from alcohol until his trial in the assault of a crew member during a Maui dinner cruise last month.

Daniel Pelosi, of Center Moriches, N.Y., is charged with first-degree assault for allegedly punching Larry Gronau in the face. Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza set a May 17 trial date.

Pelosi, 40, is free on $25,000 bond. The Long Island electrician has been named as a suspect in the 2001 slaying of New York banker Theodore Ammon. He married Ammon's widow three months after the killing. They later were separated, and she died last year of cancer.

During yesterday's arraignment, prosecutor Glenn Pesenhofer asked Cardoza to set as a requirement of bail that Pelosi not be allowed to consume or possess alcohol, since alcohol was involved in the dinner cruise incident.

Cardoza granted the prosecutor's request while rejecting a proposal from Pelosi's attorney, Graham Mottola, that the no-alcohol provision be limited to Pelosi's visits to Maui and not be imposed when he is at his Long Island home.

Cardoza, who gave Pelosi until Monday to dispose of any alcohol in his home, said at one point that he could tell by Pelosi's body language that he did not agree with that condition.

"It's sad the prosecution in the state of Maui is working with the prosecution in the state of New York," said Pelosi, who planned to leave Hawaii for New York yesterday.

Prosecutors said Pelosi became angry because a crew member decided to stop serving alcohol to a woman who was with him on the Jan. 18 cruise aboard the Maui Princess.

Crew members were helping passengers board a shuttle to take them to Lahaina when Pelosi grabbed Gronau by the neck and complained about the decision to stop serving the woman alcohol, authorities said. Gronau pushed him away, and Pelosi punched him in the face, his accusers said.

Gronau was treated for facial fractures, prosecutors said.

Pelosi was also ordered to have no contact with Gronau.

Theodore Ammon, who ran the private equity firm Chancery Lane Capital and was chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center, was found slain in his multimillion-dollar home on Oct. 22, 2001. An autopsy found his head was beaten with a blunt object.

Ammon's estate was believed to be worth $100 million.

Although no one has been charged in the killing, the judge overseeing an ongoing Suffolk County grand jury investigation identified Pelosi as a possible suspect.

Pelosi, an electrical worker who had installed a security system in Ammon's home, attracted headlines when he married the victim's widow, Generosa, three months after the banker was slain.

Pelosi served four months in the Suffolk County Jail last year on an unrelated drunken-driving conviction. He was arrested on the day he was released from jail on charges of stealing more than $40,000 in electricity from the Long Island Power Authority.

Prosecutors claim Pelosi rigged an "illegal meter bypass" at the Manorville home of his first wife and allegedly stole electricity for about six years beginning in August 1996.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --