One Police Plaza

After 6 Years, Wall Crumbles

March 20, 1995

Finally, after six years, attorney Jonathan Herzog is getting his day in court.

In 1989, while a student at Fordham Law School, Herzog tried to serve a summons for a client on Police Officer Stuart Goldstein at the Midtown North Precinct. When Goldstein refused it, Herzog tried to stick the summons in Goldstein's jacket pocket.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound Goldstein lifted Herzog six inches off the ground, according to court papers, rammed Herzog's head against a wall, then dropped him, screaming, "I'm going to kill you . . ." Herzog says he fled from the station house and crossed Tenth Avenue, pursued by Goldstein, who handcuffed and arrested him, charging Herzog with resisting arrest, assault and harassment.

Herzog claims he was kept inside a cell at Midtown North for the next seven hours, then transferred to central booking downtown. His ordeal ended at midnight when the Manhattan district attorney declined to prosecute and he was released.

Herzog filed a lawsuit against Goldstein for false arrest and, for the next four years, his lawyer, Robert Polstein, charges, the city stonewalled, refusing to produce the relevant documents. Finally, in December, the case was assigned to Queens Administrative Judge Alfred Lerner, who had been sent to Manhattan to help clear that borough's court calendar.

Among the documents Polstein says Lerner reviewed was Goldstein's personnel file, which showed 13 civilian complaints against him, including eight allegations of using unnecessary force. None was substantiated.

Lerner said he remembers the case. "I hear lots of cases like this. More than you'd think. They cost the city millions of dollars in damages. Unless the city addresses this problem, it will continue to cost millions," he said. Lerner was transferred back to Queens before the case could be scheduled for trial. The next court date is April 5 before Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Walter Tolub. Goldstein didn't return phone calls and a message left at Midtown North.

Sallie, call home.
Sal Reale's out of prison and his whereabouts are as mysterious as the man himself.

Reale is the former private eye and Gambino crime family associate reputed to have been John Gotti's man at Kennedy Airport. He was also the host of the now-legendary 14-hour Altadonna restaurant luncheon in 1983 with then-Queens District Attorney John Santucci and then-NYPD Intelligence Chief Pete Prezioso, who the Gambinos reputedly were promoting as the next police commissioner. New York Newsday's disclosure of the luncheon led instead to Prezioso's retirement and Santucci's near apoplexy whenever the luncheon was mentioned.

Reale, meanwhile, was convicted of racketeering and sentenced in 1990 to five years for violating his parole. That occurred after he was arrested at the Texas border with $ 3.7 million in his car trunk.

Reale is keeping so low a profile, people aren't sure where he is. Some say he's in New York, others believe he's running a small Italian restaurant in Florida and reporting to his parole.

©1995 Newsday, Inc.Reprinted with permission.