Alleged White power gang leader arrested at ASU with knife

Alleged White power gang leader arrested at ASU with knife

The Arizona Republic
April 11, 2001 12:00:00

An alleged leader of a Gilbert White power gang and partner to former Mafia hitman Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano has been arrested at Arizona State University for concealing an 8-inch long kitchen knife after a fight.

Michael J. Papa, 24, was arrested Feb. 22 on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, criminal trespassing and interference with the peaceful conduct of a school, police reports say. ASU police say Papa argued with ASU student Chance Pearson outside the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity on East Adelphi Drive, an apparent continuation of a fight that started over a girl at a Tempe bar.

Pearson told police Papa punched him, then repeatedly kicked him on the ground at the bar. Pearson returned to his fraternity house, where Papa soon arrived.

Pearson, 22, also was arrested for carrying a concealed handgun in his waistband and disturbing the peaceful conduct of a school.

Police said no weapons were drawn and neither man knew the other had a weapon. Papa was indicted in February 2000 with mob turncoat Sammy “The Bull” Gravano and accused of leading a lucrative Valley Ecstasy ring. Both men also have been linked to a New York Ecstasy ring with ties to Israeli organized crime. Papa is free on bond awaiting trail and had been ordered not to possess weapons.

According to the police report, Papa told officers a “black guy” was involved in the bar fight with Pearson, then drove past the house pointing a handgun at the two of them. Papa said he was telling Pearson not to fight when police arrived. He also told police, “I always carry a knife with me.”

No decision has been made on whether to prosecute the men.

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