WAKEFIELD – The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine has revoked the medical license of a plastic surgeon operating in the state after he was arrested for possession of illegal firearms.
The Board called an emergency meeting on August 27th following the arrest of Dr Matthew Bonnano, M.D. on August 12th in Tuckahoe, NY. An immediate suspension of Bonnano’s license to practice in the state followed after he was determined to pose an immediate and serious threat to public health, safety and welfare.
Tuckahoe police arrested the 47-year-old surgeon outside of Growler’s Beer Bistro on possession charges for a loaded semi-automatic weapon on the evening of August 12th. A subsequent search of his car revealed 5 fully loaded assault rifles, 1,600 rounds of ammunition, 3 handguns, 29 high capacity loaded magazines, and heavy ballistic body armor. Another large cache of weapons were discovered in the physician’s Great Neck, New York home. Dr. Bonanno was arraigned in Tuckahoe Village Court on several counts of criminal possession of weapons following the arrest.
"We will find out how these guns came into the defendant's possession, how they got to Westchester and why he had such an unusual collection of weapons," Westchester District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said at a news conference following Bonnano’s arraignment. "He was not authorized to have that weapon in New York and the assault weapons are clearly not legal in New York." Scarpino added he expected additional charges to be filed against Bonanno.
The arrest was made after a friend notified police that Bonnano had showed him the gun outside the bar, intimating that he had plans to kill his estranged wife.
Bonnano’s attorney Paul Gentile argues the case has been exaggerated. “I think we’re dealing with a case that is completely out of proportion,” Gentile said during the arraignment. “The first thing is that Dr. Bonanno is a well-known, respected plastic surgeon who has been doing terrific work for people for many, many years,” adding that the weapons were part of a collection used at firing ranges and wooded areas.
Bonnano is still being held at Westchester County Jail awaiting trial.
Dr. Bonanno, who has primarily operated out of Long Island for the past fifteen years, was first licensed to practice in Massachusetts in March. It is not clear whether or not he actually practiced in the state.
Bonanno has seven days to appeal the right to a hearing with the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.