New York Daily News

No dad to guide him

Slain cop's son faces '81 killer in court


Thomas (left) and Gerard Scarangella, sons of Officer John Scarangella
Thomas (left) and Gerard Scarangella, sons of Officer John Scarangella, who was slain by Abdul Majid (below).
Abdul Majid

POUGHKEEPSIE, May 2, 2006— The son of a slain NYPD cop confronted his father's killer in a court yesterday on the 25th anniversary of the murder - and described what it was like to grow up without his dad.

"I haven't had him for 25 years, his presence, his guidance, his advice," said Thomas Scarangella, who was 8 when his father, John, was gunned down on a Queens street a quarter-century ago.

"We'll never know what we would've had if he'd been alive."

Thomas Scarangella came face-to-face with convicted triggerman Abdul Majid as the family pushes a lawsuit to block the killer from getting a $15,000 award for getting beaten by prison guards.

"Just when you put it off to the side, then you have to deal with the [man] who killed my father and it all resurfaces," said Scarangella, 33. "All the memories come back."

"I'm not afraid to go face-to-face with him," he added. "It's just hard to hear him talk about my father."

Officer John Scarangella, was killed after pulling over a van carrying Majid, then a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, and another suspected radical on April 16, 1981.

The cop's widow, Vivian, is suing Majid with the help of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association under the state's Son of Sam Law.

She filed the suit after hearing that the convicted killer, who is serving a 33-1/3 years-to-life sentence, was about to get the windfall from the state.

The slain cop's partner, Richard Rainey, who was wounded in the attack, is expected to testify today.

Majid, who is acting as his own lawyer, has argued that the suit is unconstitutional because the Son of Sam Law applied only to profiting from crimes, not other sources of income, at the time he won the brutality suit. The law was later changed.

The killer, who was known as Anthony LaBorde before he converted to Islam, refused to cross-examine Scarangella, saying his emotional testimony shouldn't have any bearing on the complicated legal issues.

"I can understand it from the sentimental value," he said. "But it's irrelevant."