BENSONHURST — Over 20 years after the cold-blooded murder of an NYPD officer, outrage has once again been sparked as the woman who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Police Officer Anthony Mosomillo, a Bensonhurst native, was granted parole.
As first reported by CBS 2 News, Betsy Ramos was granted parole in November without the Mosomillo family having been previously informed or given the opportunity to speak before the parole board.
Mosomillo, who was assigned to the 67th Precinct, was killed on May 26, 1998 when he and his partner went into an apartment in East Flatbush to arrest Ramos’ boyfriend Jose Serrano on a drug-related warrant.
Serrano was hiding in a closet. The officers found him and following a confrontation, Serrano grabbed Mosomillo’s partner’s gun, shooting Mosomillo four times. Mosomillo turned and shot and killed Serrano before dying. Ramos was prosecuted for helping Serrano get the gun away from the cop.
Much to her dismay, Mosomillo’s widow Margaret found out that Ramos had been granted parole when she received a letter saying that Ramos had already been in front of the parole board and been granted release.
According to the family, the Parole Board’s Office of Victim Assistance, which is tasked with liaising with crime victims and arranging victim impact statements, failed to notify them of Ramos’ appeal and new hearing.
“Every two years, I have been forced to relive the pain of losing Anthony in order to deliver my victim impact statement — and always during the holidays, when I feel his loss the most,” wrote Margaret in a statement released by the New York City Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA). “This time, I didn’t even get that opportunity. Just a cold letter saying ‘your husband’s killer is being released.’ That letter is what every family of a murdered police officer dreads, but the Parole Board could not care less. They have trampled my rights and hidden behind bureaucracy. Their sickening disregard for our family should serve as a warning to every crime victim in New York State. If they can do this to me, they can and will do it to you.”
However, Ramos did not go free. According to the PBA, Ramos was released from state prison on Tuesday, Dec. 10 and transferred to federal custody to face charges that she had violated the separate federal supervised release sentence she was serving at the time of Mosomillo’s murder.
Ramos appeared in court in front of U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis that same day.
Ramos pleaded guilty to violating her sentence and will continue to be held in federal custody until a further hearing in the case, scheduled for later this month.
Garaufis has asked federal prosecutors to obtain and submit victim impact statements from Mosomillo’s family in connection with pending charges against Ramos, according to the PBA.
“We are grateful to Judge Garaufis for letting the family of our hero be heard,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch. “The con game that the Parole Board just ran on the Mosomillo family is an utter disgrace. Over the past year, we have seen multiple instances in which the Parole Board staff lied to or misled the families of fallen police officers in an apparent attempt to deprive them of their legal right to oppose the release of their loved ones’ killers. Because of the New York State Parole Board’s outrageous deception, the Mosomillo family has been forced to live in fear of seeing Anthony’s killer walk out of prison doors. Their sacrifice matters. Their suffering matters. Their voices need to be heard.”
Former Councilmember Vincent Gentile, a former prosecutor who after Mosomillo’s murder played a major role in making sure NYPD officers got improved bulletproof vests, told this paper, “Officer Mosomillo was basically ambushed in that apartment and certainly this accomplice knew where her boyfriend, the shooter, was hiding and did nothing to prevent the officer from walking right into the ambush. So that was a cold blooded murder.
“Theres no version of this murder that would justify granting parole to anyone,” he added. “Even though she was an accomplice, she was an accomplice with clear knowledge of where the shooter was and was complicit 100 percent.”
Gentile explained that the incident sparked his quest to get vests for the NYPD that more fully protected those wearing them.
“Officer Mosomillo did not have an adequate bullet proof vest that covered enough of his chest and the arm pit area so the bullet entered the upper chest and killed him despite the fact that he had a vest on,” Gentile said.
“I want the family to know there are New Yorkers that are still praying for them, and they should know that he has left a legacy behind,” he said. “Because of what happened to him, others have been protected and many likely have been saved because of the upgrading of those vests. He is someone that I and the city of New York will never forget.