Officer was gunned down 35 years ago
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A convict serving 25 years to life in prison for the cold blooded murder of a Bay Ridge police officer is up for parole this month, but state Sen. Marty Golden and the slain cop’s family are urging officials to keep him behind bars.
Pablo Costello and another suspect, Luis Torres, were both convicted of murdering PO David Guttenberg 35 years ago. Guttenberg, 49, was shot to death during a botched robbery inside an auto parts store on 86th Street near Seventh Avenue on Dec. 28, 1978. Torres died in prison in 1996.
Costello, who was denied parole two years ago, is eligible for parole again.
Golden, a retired police officer, wrote a letter to Andrea Evans, chairman of the New York State Parole Division, asking her to deny Costello’s parole bid.
Calling Costello a “cold blooded killer,” Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) urged Evans to keep him in prison.
“As a former New York City Police Officer myself, l understand firsthand how important it is that we not allow murderers of police officers to enjoy revolving door justice when it comes to their crimes. These criminals are exceptionally dangerous to society because they simply have no regard for humanity,” Golden wrote.
“The very nature of this particularly heinous crime committed by Pablo Costello should not allow for his release. He needs to be held accountable for their actions in killing a law enforcement officer. We owe it to Officer Guttenberg and his family,” Golden wrote.
Golden has been monitoring the developments surrounding the Guttenberg case for a long time and was aware of the parole board’s timetable, according to his spokesman, Ray Riley. “The senator was made aware of this through a number of different avenues,” Riley told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle via an email on Sept. 3.
The New York Daily News reported last week that Guttenberg’s family is also fighting Costello’s bid for freedom. His daughter, Helaine Guttenberg-Ginsberg, 52, who was only 18 years old when her father was gunned down, told the Daily News she would have loved for her father to have been able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, but was robbed of that joy by the killers.
Guttenberg-Ginsberg also stated that she didn’t believe anything productive would come out of springing Costello from prison.
David Guttenberg, an 18-year veteran of the Police Department, was on routine patrol on Dec. 28, 1978 when walked into an auto shop on 86th Street to try to find the owner of a double-parked. He did not know that Costello and Torres were robbing the shop at gunpoint at that moment.
Torres shot Guttenberg to death and both he and Costello fled in different directions.
They were both caught a short time later. They were eventually convicted of murder and were both sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.