On October 19, 2019, I put a post up on my Brooklyn Rumble Facebook page about Eddie Falco, a member of the Mayrose, a mixed youth gang on the Lower East Side in the 1950s. In the post, I shared part of the minutes of his hearing with the parole board of an instiution where he was incarcerated. He was in for assault and robbery. My post didn’t say much about the crime itself and so I thought this page would give details on the actual case that sent him away.
The date was the evening of February 2, 1954. The place was 301 Henry Street, Manhattan. This was the residences for the workers of the Henry Street Settlement House which was a not-for-profit agency that worked with wayward youth in the 1950s. The Settlement had been there since 1893, and they tried to help members of gangs like the Dragons, Sportsmen and the Mayrose stay out of trouble.
So it was that on the evening of February 2, 1954, Louis Everstein, a worker at the Henry Street Settlement House, was about to retire for the evening. He was on the way to his room on the fourth floor of the building and when he got to the second floor landing, he saw a group of five youths lurking in the shadows. As Louis reached the top of the stairs, one of the group, who Louis recognized as a constant visitor to the settlement house, grabbed him by his neck and held his arms while his friends searched him and stole his wallet which contained personal papers and $21. The boy who grabbed him was Eddie Falco, a notorious trouble-maker on the Lower East Side. Once they took Louis’ money, Falco released him and he and the other four ran down the stairs and out of the building.
Louis Everstein reported the assault and robbery to the police at the 7th Precinct and a detective was assigned to the case. The detective didn’t catch Falco until two days later when Falco, who was arrested on a drug charge in Harlem, appeared in Magistrate’s Court. Seeing him there, the detective arrested Eddie after Louis identified him.
Louis did not sustain any physical injuries from the assault and it was very likely that the Henry Street Settlement would reimburse him for the loss of the $21. The detective also arrested the other four teenagers, but Louis wasn’t able to identify them so no charges were made against them. The detective said that Eddie was well-known to the 7th Precinct police and that he had been “considered one of the ringleaders of a small band of neighborhood hoodlums for a number of years.”
When Eddie was questioned by the police, he admitted he was in the area at the time of the assault and robbery, but that he had no part in it and neither were his friends. Eddie said it was another group that had done the robbery. However, the police didn’t buy Eddie’s explanation and considered his story as “hardly credible.”
The police could hardly be blamed for disbelieving Eddie. He had a dodgy reputation that had preceded him for quite some time.
First of all, he was a constant thorn in school, both at JHS 12 and P.S. 14. His behavior was so bad that he was sent to a “600” school which was for kids with behavior problems. Even at this school, Eddie “established a generally unsatisfactory record.” After finishing 8th grade, Eddie attended Murray Hill Vocational high School from September 1952 to June 1953 at which time he quit. School records showed that Eddie had no respect for authority, used foul and abusive language and bullied and attacked fellow students.
Eddie also had a record with law enforcement and the courts:
- On Dec.18, 1950, at the age of 13 years old, Eddie was a juvenile delinquent for being disorderly in a theater by smoking and annoying girls.
- On Jan.29, 1951, Eddie broke into 211 East Broadway, Manhattan, with an accomplice where they were caught by the police.
- Mar.7, 1951, Eddie assaulted a schoolboy in a game room at the Educational Alliance Club. He was sent to juvenile detention center.
- Jun.10, 1952, Eddie and two others broke into a jewellery store at 346 Clinton Street and stole 43 watches.
- Jan. 21, 1954 – felonious assault when Eddie cut Donald Kessler with a broken bottle on the left arm where Donald had to be given emergency treatment at Gouverneur Hospital.
Time and again, Eddie was offered help by interested and caring people around him, but he always refused. He also caused problems with the Educational Alliance Club and especially the Henry Street Settlement where he was in constant conflict and threatened the staff. I won’t itemize each of the problems he started with the Henry Street Settlement, except for this note:
“Never at any time has an individual staff member been able to establish a friendly relationship with the boy. He has been given to violent fits of rage upon occasion and has offered to “mop up the floor” with anyone who dared set limitations on his free entry into the settlement.”
Eddie was sent to reformatory for the assault and robbery of Louis Everstein, but his four friends weren’t. After Eddie got out, I lost track of him until years later when he became involved in organized crime. A fellow researcher of mine shared with me that Eddie was a driver for Vincent “The Chin” Gigante and that an informant said something to the effect of “Gigante has a new driver who is a crazy blond Italian that carries a hatchet in the trunk of his car.”
Eddie later became either a soldier or capo of his own crew.
In 2003, Eddie died.