John A. "Junior" Gotti, the son of the late Gambino crime boss, ordered a hit on Guardian Angels founder and New York radio personality Curtis Sliwa -- who survived -- because he was angry at Sliwa for disparaging his father, federal prosecutors said in an indictment released Wednesday.
Gotti, 40, is a former capo in the Gambino family and is serving time in a federal prison for an unrelated crime. His father, John J. Gotti, was known as the "Dapper Don" and died in prison two years ago while serving a life sentence. Along with three other mob soldiers, the younger Gotti was charged with murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, illegal gambling, loan-sharking and fraud.
"The indictment reads like a course outline for Organized Crime 101," said Pasquale D'Amuro, assistant director for the FBI office in New York. And U.S. Attorney David N. Kelly said the charges are a "powerful blow to the Gambino family's grip on the city."
Central to the charges is the alleged hit ordered by Gotti against Sliwa, who is also known for his founding of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer civilian patrol that began in New York City and has since spread to other cities, including Washington.
In 1992, Sliwa was shot and badly wounded when he hailed a cab in New York. The indictment said two mobsters had stolen the cab, with one posing as the driver and the other hiding in it. At Gotti's orders, they shot Sliwa and fled, prosecutors said.
Gotti's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman said, "We want him here for preparation, and we want a speedy trial from the government."
Sliwa said in a telephone interview that he felt "vindicated" by the indictment. Authorities initially had dismissed his allegations of a mob connection, which led to rumors that Sliwa had plotted the shooting to gain publicity.