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Man charged with stabbing pizza prodigy claims self-defense



With dramatic flair, the man accused of stabbing a celebrity pizza chef outside a Brooklyn deli yesterday lifted up his shirt in court yesterday to show the judge the cuts he received to his chest and stomach, claiming he acted in self-defense.

Benny Geritano, 39, was arraigned yesterday on charges of second-degree attempted murder in the knife fight with Lucali owner Mark Iacono. Both men reportedly had knives, but police said they’re still trying to confirm whether that’s true.

Geritano “suffered the first wound in this situation,” Geritano’s attorney said at his client’s arraignment.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office did not return calls seeking comment.

Geritano’s bond was set at $250,000, though the judge reportedly ordered that he prove it’s not dirty money before posting. Geritano allegedly has mafia ties, and police said they’re looking into whether the fight was mob-related.

An ex-con, Geritano has 10 previous arrests and two murder charges, both of which he beat. He is reportedly on probation until 2013 on a federal racketeering charge. He’s due back in court Thursday on the stabbing incident.

Iacono, 44, was still hospitalized in stable condition yesterday with knife wounds throughout his body — including in the neck and back — from the fight outside a Carroll Garden deli near Lucali. Various published reports yesterday also said he will be facing criminal charges.

His attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

The famed Lucali, which opened in 2006 at 575 Henry St. in Carroll Gardens, is an award-winning pizzeria and celeb hot spot, with Beyonce and Jay-Z among its regulars. Calls to the restaurant went unanswered, and it was closed over the weekend.


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