An alleged extortionist with connections to the Chicago mob was taken into federal custody Friday after a judge ruled he violated conditions of his bond when he threatened a witness in the case against him.
Paul Carparelli, who is charged with arranging violent attacks on the Outfit’s debtors, allegedly warned the employee of a witness against him that his boss “is a f—— rat,” prosecutors said.
“Tell him he knows what happens to rats,” Carparelli said after following the employee out of a Wal-Mart parking lot in west suburban Addison on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled against Carparelli after prosecutors showed her video footage of what they said was Carparelli’s black Cadillac pursuing a white van belonging to the witness’ company.
While the two cars were stopped at a stoplight, Carparelli gestured for the window of the van to come down, prosecutors said, before giving his message. Later, the employee contacted police and identified Carparelli from a photo.
The employee “understood what Carparelli was trying to convey,” federal prosecutor Michael Donovan said. “This was a statement meant to intimidate and threaten.”
Prosecutors filed an emergency motion asking Coleman to revoke Carparelli’s bond.
Carparelli’s attorney, Charles Nesbit, argued that if police felt that Carparelli was an imminent threat, they would have taken him into custody.
Besides, Nesbit said, Carparelli is already in the middle of plea negotiations for his extortion charges.
In her ruling, Coleman said Carparelli had been admonished many times – including in her court — on the conditions of his bond, which include that he not contact any victim or witness involved in the case.
“I told you, don’t mess with my rules,” Coleman told Carparelli.
Carparelli may be in the middle of plea negotiations, Coleman said, but “there is no rule the defendant has to be smart.”
Carparelli, whose face betrayed no emotion during the hearing, took off his gold chain and belt before he was taken into custody.
He is due back in federal court on the extortion charges May 8.