First, back in 1998, he interrupted a thread discussing media behavior in the Monica Lewinsky scandal to brag about John Gotti Jr's mafia buddies bringing him coffee "for not trying anything stupid." He describes one "photog" jumping in Gotti's face and getting tossed into the street by Gotti's henchmen, but as Frischling describes it, he himself was a safe distance away.
"How close is to close to a subject? This has been debated before and I am sure it will be debated again and again and again for a long time, if we all just stepped back a a few feet with a 35mm or even a 28mm we would all have a better photo. I know at a number of Perp-Walks in NYC there was a sort of honour system when ony 2-3 stills and 2-3 TV-PJs were there no one had to jump out, no one had to shove, these were usually the 3AM perp walks or body removals, but it worked. I had been at a 4:AM "release" of John Gotti Jr, 2 TVPJs and 3 stills, each of us knew each other, no problems, we sat there talking for a few hours, the mobsters even brought us coffee as a "thank you" for not trying anthing stupid (read between the lines), just as Gotti exited the police station, a photog got out of a car, he must have been sitting there watching us for 3 or 4 hours, and ran up to Gotti with a wide lens stepping in front of all of us and proceded to walk 2-3 feet in front of him for about 20 yards until one of the mobster (alleged mobsters?) yanked him and just about literaly threw him into the street. Then we all got our 10 or 12 clean frames and then Gotti turned and thanked us for our concern for his well being. Those of us standing there had it worked out so we all got our photos , but all it takes is that one photog to run up out of no where and make their images and cause us to jump into the circle."Five years later, Frischling jumps into a discussion on photographers' biggest goofs to share the Gotti story. But now it's different. No mention of that photographer getting tossed into the street. This time it's Frischling who (after experiencing more unfortunate equipment failure) bumps into Gotti, "nearly knocking him to the ground!" He also claims this was all captured on video.
Sports Shooter, 7/9/03
"I was assigned to cover John Gotti's Jr's perp walk from a police station in South Brooklyn. After waiting hours outside Gotti came out free to go to his own car, not a cruiser, with only two other shooters there (one TV, one still) I figured it would be easy (and highly unexpected).
As I began shooting I ripped off 3 frames then nothing.....since the frame counter on my F3hp was busted I did not realize I had not swapped in a new roll into this F3 (I had two, both with busted frame counters). Standing there like an idiot, ticked at myself, I stepped backwards into Gotti nearly knocking him to the ground. Luckily I had one good frame which the wire was able to use.
My mother saw the perp walk on TV the next morning where they showed me walking backwards into Gotti and has not stopped giving me $#!+ about it yet."