Reputed No. 2 Man In Gambino Crime Family Killed In Car Bomb
NEW YORK (AP) _ A bomb exploded under a car parked on a Brooklyn street Sunday, killing the reputed No. 2 man in the Gambino crime family and critically injuring another suspected organized-crime figure, police said.
Frank DeCicco, 58, was the No. 2 leader in the Gambino family, behind reputed leader John Gotti, a federal law enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press Sunday night.
The other victim, Frank Bellino, 65, whose address was not known, is a suspected member of the Lucchese crime family, said police Sgt. Raymond O’Donnell, who identified DeCicco as a suspected ″high-ranking member″ of the Gambino family.
The men were approaching the car when the bomb exploded and were taken by a police patrol car to Victory Memorial Hospital, where DeCicco died, O’Donnell said.
The bomb, which police described as a ″high intensity explosive device,″ had been placed on the ground beneath the front seat of the 1985 Buick Electra, O’Donnell said.
A female passerby suffered an asthma attack that appeared to be triggered by anxiety, the sergeant said.
The bombing came nearly four months after Paul Castellano, 70, reputed head of the Gambino family, and an associate, Thomas Bilotti, 45, were shot to death as they stepped out of a limousine in front of a steak house on Manhattan’s East Side.
Gotti, who lives in Queens, is on trial in federal court on charges he participated in a racketeering enterprise engaged in loan sharking, gambling, robbery and murder for nearly 20 years.
His purported designation of DeCicco as underboss was viewed by authorities as an effort to pacify rival factions in the Gambino group after Castellano’s slaying, the New York Times reported today.
Gotti was considered an opponent of Castellano while DeCicco was viewed as loyal to him, officials quoted by the Times said.
The federal source told the AP that DeCicco was ″believed to have acquiesced″ to the Castellano killing although he was not a member of the Gotti faction.
Asked if the bombing was an act of revenge for the Dec. 16, 1985 Castellano-Bilotti shootings, the source said: ″That’s a possibility,″ but added any interpretation of the attack now would be speculation.