A construction executive with ties to disgraced ex-NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik was arrested Wednesday, months after he allegedly assaulted an FBI informant who exposed corruption involving Kerik inside a midtown hotel.
Frank DiTommaso was charged with felony assault in the confrontation with Larry Ray at the Hudson Hotel on Sept. 17, police said. He was released on his own recognizance after a court hearing overnight.
Ray, who was once close friends with Kerik and DiTommaso, told NBC 4 New York he believes it was an act of revenge.
He said DiTommaso followed him to the Hudson Hotel and approached his table. Ray stood up to say hello and went to shake his hand, and that's when DiTomasso allegedly unleashed a flurry of punches at him.
“I was knocked out. He kept hitting me in the temple area repeatedly,” said Ray, who suffered head trauma in the assault.
Ray believes the attack was premeditated, payback for his providing information to local and federal prosecutors about Kerik’s corruption and his links to DiTommaso.
“I think it is revenge on Frank’s part for the court case, for sure,” said Ray.
DiTommaso -- whose construction firm was alleged to have provided $165,000 in free apartment renovations to Kerik -- was arrested Wednesday on felony assault charges. As he was led out of the Midtown North stationhouse in handcuffs, DiTommaso did not respond to NBC 4 New York when asked whether the attack was revenge on Ray for his cooperation.
Ray, who served as best man at Kerik's wedding, has a criminal past but said there are witnesses and hotel security camera video now in the hands of police that confirm the allegations. Police said that is why they moved forward with felony assault counts Wednesday.
During the investigation into Kerik's corruption case, DiTommaso was arrested on perjury charges but later cleared. Kerik pleaded guilty to felony state and federal charges in 2009, including tax fraud and lying to the White House, and served three years in prison.
Spokesmen for the FBI and US Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment about the alleged attack on a past witness.
Former federal prosecutor Brad Simon said the case may be bigger than just an assault.
“If there is evidence that they were trying to intimidate this witness or punish him for giving testimony against Bernie Kerik, then I think it rises to the level of obstruction of justice or witness tampering, federal offenses,” Simon said.
Kerik, who was released from federal prison in May 2013 and now sometimes serves as a commentator on television, declined to comment about the case.
DiTommaso is expected to appear at 100 Centre Street overnight on the assault counts. He is expected to deny any wrongdoing.
Ray said DiTommaso deserves jail time.
“The right thing happens eventually most of the time," he said.