You may remember the September 25, 2014, PoliticsNY.net story on the travails of Paul Gullo, "Officer Gullo Finally Bites It". He's presently being prosecuted in Monroe County for impersonating a police officer, as we related in the article.
We thought Gullo might just go away now that his creepy fantasy life was exposed to the world. But no; he's back. He popped up on Wednesday at the trial of Thomas Johnson III, the parolee accused of murdering Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson in September 2014. WHAM-AM talk show host Bob Lonsberry told the whole sordid story on-the-air. It's hard to believe, but true. Listen to Bob's on-air account, or the transcript follows.
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BOB LONSBERRY: Good morning Rochester. A day before yesterday, a man who had been charged previously by police with impersonating them, insinuated himself into the Pierson trial. In fact, Wednesday afternoon he sat in the front row with the Pierson family. He has no connection to them. He has no connection to this trial.
In a conversation with District Attorney Sandra Doorley, he told her that he was a cousin of injured Rochester police officer Anthony DiPonzio. Further he said that he had cancer. It’s also believed that this same man, Wednesday afternoon told an Assistant District Attorney at the trial that he was currently an officer at the Rochester Police department. It turns out that he is no such thing. In fact, Paul Gullo was shortly after the slaying of police officer Pierson, charged with impersonating an officer, for - with a big badge on his coat - attending first of all the funeral and then a reception afterwards.
This was the fellow you may recall who was the deputy mayor down in Naples. He claims to have, in years past, been a police officer in one place or another. I don’t know that that’s ever been documented. But he was as a village trustee in Naples, made deputy mayor, and also public safety commissioner or police commissioner. I think the downside there is - I don’t know if Naples has a police department.
But at any rate, this man, who in troubling fashion popped up at approximately the time of the death of Officer Pierson claiming to be a cop, has now shown back up at the trial, people not recognizing him. He comes in and, when you’re in the court room, there are seats on the right, and seats on the left with an aisle down between. Then there is the railing which separates the spectator’s area from the actual functional court room. On the left are tables for the defense team, Mr. Borelli and Mr. Hinman. And between them sits Thomas Johnson “the turd”. And then to the right side of the room sits the prosecution table with Ms. Doorley and her two Assistant District Attorney’s.
Upfront, obviously, is Judge Moran, and to the right portion of the room is where the jurors and the alternate jurors have sat during the testimony portion of the trial. And on the right hand side of the court room, that’s where in the first couple of rows have sat members of the families of Officer Pierson who is deceased, and of his wife Amy who of course survives. And then behind them have typically sat law enforcement officers or friends of the family. Reporters have been in the back row on the left.
Wednesday afternoon, this man Paul Gullo shows up and - not exactly sure how - but he ends up sitting with the Pierson family, in the front row over again in an area that’s reserved for relatives of the victim. And he engages people in conversation. And again, there’s a current investigation going on, it’s believed that he told an Assistant District Attorney that he was now a Rochester police officer. In a casual conversation he struck up with District Attorney Sandra Doorley, he told her that he had this family relationship to [Rochester police officer] Anthony DiPonzio [sounded in the line of duty in 2009]. And also threw out, oh by the way I got cancer.
Well, what he seems to have is some sort of problem that makes him be a poser or a wannabe.
Again there are still pending police impersonation charges against him from back at the time of [Officer Daryl Pierson’s] funeral. Now is it a big dreamer? Or is it a man who’s got some kind of mental illness or whatever? Uncertain. But he has not been back in the court room. And I believe that authorities are looking at him pretty closely.
So that’s the background on Paul Gullo. A onetime Wolcott cop, years ago, fired from that. Somehow got on the village board in Naples, deputy mayor and public safety commissioner or whatever that was. Tried to glom onto politics briefly with both the Carl Paladino and the David Bellavia campaigns. So that’s the background.
Last Fall when Officer Pierson was murdered, this man, Paul Gullo, with a badge on his sports coat, attended with the police officers, in their section the funeral for Daryl Pierson, and subsequently, attended a special law enforcement only reception after the funeral of Officer Pierson. He was, in the course of that, sort of sniffed out, and they didn’t think he was a cop, and he was charged by the Rochester Police Department last Fall with impersonating an officer.
He showed up Wednesday at the trial of Daryl Pierson. He was not recognized there by anybody. He somehow insinuated himself into the front row right behind the prosecutors table where the family of Officer Pierson, his birth family or his wife’s family, had been sitting. So he is right up there with the Piersons. Like he’s one of them. Nobody knew him, he just starts yack yack yack - and sits down in this place which, you can kinda sit anywhere you want in a court room, but obviously that’s their place.
He told Sandra Doorley, the District Attorney, that he was a cousin of Anthony DiPonzio. And he also told Sandra Doorley that he, Gullo, had cancer. It’s also believed - and currently being investigated - that he, Gullo told one of the two Assistant District Attorneys [in the courtroom] that he was a Rochester police officer. So that would be - not a factual statement. That would be arguably impersonating a police officer.
And so whether this guy is crazy, or whether he’s crooked, or just one of these wannabe’s or whatever… I don’t know. But unfortunately, at this juncture, this bad apple keeps showing up.
[Note: PoliticsNY.net has learned that members of the Pierson family were unable to find seats in the courtroom and instead had to wait outside during the proceedings. Ubelievably, Gullo sat comfortably with the family. We also learned that he leaned in and touched Pierson’s mother in a consoling fashion when she became emotional during the trial.]