BOSTON (CBS) – The padlocks were still on the Salem Street tailor shop in Boston’s North End well past opening time. Carla LoConte, who owns the restaurant across the street couldn’t help but notice. “I watched him open his business every day for thirty years, every day we were here together,” she said.
Tuesday night 71-year-old Vittorio Recupero was killed by an alleged drunk driver after he stopped in the breakdown lane on Route 95 north in Reading.
His daughter Theresa is stunned. “How do you do that? There are consequences we’ve lost a husband, father and grandfather.” Recupero is described as the fabric of the North End community, well known for his work ethic and fine craftsmanship.
Thirty two year old Mary Gregoriadis of Brockton is facing motor vehicle homicide, charged with striking and killing the man as he stood by his car. Troopers say she failed a field sobriety test. “They noted there was of an alcoholic beverage on her person. She appeared to be intoxicated to troopers,” said Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Kristyn Dusel.
Recupero wasn’t just a fine tailor but also a judo enthusiast and teacher at the Tohoku Judo Club in Somerville. He called his wife last night to say he was leaving his class early because not enough students had shown up. It’s unclear why he had stopped on the highway.
Brennan Osgood, who works at a nearby barber shop in the North End marveled at his strength. “He always wanted you to join judo class. He’d throw a chop and you would drop to your knees,” he said.
His tailor shop was a gathering place for coffee and conversation, and a fixture in the community is gone. “Everybody knows Victor,” said Carla LoConte. “It’s one of the last tailor shops there is. You can’t find these any more.
According to the prosecutor, Gregoriadis told police she was on her way home from a job at Macy’s in Nashua, New Hampshire but couldn’t explain why she was in the northbound lane if she lived in Brockton. She also allegedly said she had only one beer. Gregoriadis is being held on ten thousand dollars cash bail.
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