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Mick Gatto assault case flops
Article from: Herald Sun
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March 16, 2009 12:00am
EXCLUSIVE: AN assault investigation of underworld figure Mick Gatto has collapsed after his alleged victim refused to help police.
Anton Matijas claimed he was punched in the face when he visited Mr Gatto's Elite Cranes company in Brooklyn.
He later branded Mr Gatto a thug and a bully and publicly spoke of wanting him brought to justice.
But Mr Matijas recently withdrew his complaint and no charges will be laid.
His refusal to pursue the matter meant police had virtually no chance of mounting a successful prosecution.
Mr Gatto last night said he always believed he would not be charged.
"I knew it was always going to be (no charges)," he said.
"I was never, ever concerned. I was confident it wouldn't proceed past first base."
Mr Gatto said he had not been in contact with his accuser since the incident on November 25 last year.
"I haven't spoken to him," he said.
Mr Matijas claimed Mr Gatto attacked him when he visited Elite Cranes to talk about a work injury claim.
"Someone has to pull this bloke up," he said at the time.
"I want him charged for what he's done."
Mr Gatto was arrested by Altona North detectives before being released pending further inquiries.
Police searched Elite Cranes for any evidence that would substantiate the allegations.
Mr Gatto said on the day of his arrest that Mr Matijas fell and hit his head on a fridge.
"If I'd hit him, he wouldn't have got up," he said.
Mr Gatto yesterday joked he had been swamped with calls from companies wanting to solve WorkCover matters.
"They want to borrow my fridge," he said.
Mr Gatto was acquitted of the murder of gangland gun-for-hire Andrew "Benji" Veniamin in 2004 on the grounds of self-defence.
It was revealed last year he was under investigation over the killing of standover man Victor Peirce in 2002 and underworld figure Frank Benvenuto in 2000.
Mr Gatto said he had not heard from the Purana taskforce for some time.
Mr Matijas could not be contacted yesterday.
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