Ex of ‘RHONJ’ star hired mobster to beat up couple — prosecutor
(Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
The ex-husband of a former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast member has been hit with new charges, as an accomplice in a violent Holmdel home-invasion four years ago, targeting the woman's now-husband.
Thomas Manzo, 56, is the ex-husband of Dina Manzo, who was with her then-fiance, David Cantin, when they were attacked by two men upon entering Cantin's townhouse in May 2017.
It's the second time that Thomas Manzo had Cantin beaten up, based on court records from the new charges and from a federal case stemming from 2015.
Manzo, of Franklin Lakes, and 53-year-old James Mainello, of Bayonne, have been newly indicted on the following charges:
- first-degree robbery
- second-degree burglary
- aggravated assault in the second- and third-degree
- third-degree theft
- third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose
- third-degree criminal restraint
Manzo is also charged with two counts of fourth-degree stalking, stemming from the 2017 incident, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
He had already faced federal charges alongside John Perna, as outlined last June by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Perna — identified as a soldier in the Lucchese crime family by federal prosecutors — had been sent to attack Cantin in 2015 at a strip mall in Passaic County, where Perna and another man beat him with a "slap jack," according to a criminal complaint.
In federal court, prosecutors had said that Manzo hired the reputed mobster to carry out the assault in exchange for a lavish wedding reception at the Brownstone, the venue that Manzo partly owns in Paterson.
Perna pleaded guilty in December to committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity.
Mainello was arrested two years ago, when first accused of the home invasion and beating.
The ongoing investigation ultimately uncovered Manzo’s role in stalking both victims and his motivations for the robbery and assault, Gramiccioni said.
Dina Manzo and Cantin got married in June 2017.
Thomas Manzo was being held in Monmouth County Jail pending a detention hearing in Monmouth County Superior Court.
His late father, Albert Manzo, has been the source of persistent mob rumors. In 1983, he was found shot to death inside the trunk of his Lincoln Continental, in a parking lot along Route 22, according to a previous report by The Star Ledger.
Anyone with additional information about the home invasion case can contact the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443, or Holmdel Police at 732-946-4400.
Anonymous tips also can be submitted to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential phone line by calling 1-800-671-4400; or by texting "MONMOUTH” plus the tip to 274637.