The Chicago Syndicate: Shot "Mobster" Refusing to Squeal
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shot "Mobster" Refusing to Squeal

Friends of ours: Gambino Crime Family Bonanno Crime Family, Carmine Sciandra, John Gotti, Junior Gotti, Ronald Carlucci, Michael Viga
Friends of mine: Patrick Balsamo

A retired cop who allegedly shot a reputed Gambino capo in the gut may get off scot-free because the "wiseguy" won't snitch.

Carmine Sciandra, who was shot inside his Staten Island produce store during a tussle with former NYPD Officer Patrick Balsamo in December, has refused to cooperate with authorities investigating the gunplay, authorities said. Prosecutors for the Staten Island DA have been unable to present the case to a grand jury because they are still not sure who fired the gun.

Balsamo stormed into the Top Tomato store in Travis with two reputed members of the Bonanno crime family in a dispute involving his daughter, Maria. She worked as a cashier at the shop before being fired, and accused Sciandra's brother, Salvatore, of groping her, authorities said. An enraged Balsamo started smashing windows with a baseball bat, they said. Carmine Sciandra was shot after confronting the ex-cop with a bat of his own, authorities said.

Sciandra is still recuperating from the bullet that ripped through his stomach and lodged in his buttocks, said a person close to the store owner. The friend said Sciandra is slated to undergo another abdominal surgery in April.

The two alleged Bonanno members brought in as muscle, Ronald Carlucci and Michael Viga, quickly drove off. They were never charged in the incident. "There's a lack of witnesses as to who actually pulled the trigger," said one law-enforcement official, adding that store surveillance videos also don't show who fired.

If the DA's case continues to be stalled, it is possible that assault and weapons charges against Balsamo could be dropped. "It would be a difficult case to prosecute without [Sciandra] offering his account," the source said. A spokesman for DA Daniel Donovan declined to comment on the investigation, saying only that Balsamo, 49, will be back in court March 14.

The unauthorized attack on an reputed "made" Mafia big with members of a rival crime family on hand left authorities fearing a mob war was on the horizon. But sources say all has been quiet and Balsamo, who retired from the NYPD in 1993, has been "hiding out" at his father's home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, since being released on $25,000 bail. "We haven't seen any repercussions here," the source said about gangland

Balsamo's father, Anthony, quickly hung up the phone when reached at home and the ex-cop's lawyer could not be reached. A lawyer for Sciandra, once considered a prime candidate to take over as boss of the Gambino family after John Gotti died and his son, John "Junior," was jailed, declined to comment.

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