Skip to comments.Courtroom fireworks as Sliwa finally gets to stare down Gotti
Posted on 08/22/2005 3:43:16 AM PDT by JRotten
He's stood up to tough guys all his life - and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa's parents expect him to deliver a knockout blow against John A. (Junior) Gotti when he faces off with the reputed mob boss in federal court today.
It's a confrontation the elderly couple says the crimefighter-turned-radio-celebrity has been longing for.
"He's looking forward to the chance to stand up in court and help put this guy away," Chester Sliwa, 84, said in an exclusive interview with the Daily News.
The younger Sliwa, 51, who's usually running his mouth in morning drive time as co-host of the "Curtis and Kuby in the Morning" show on 77 WABC, is gagged from discussing the case outside court.
But his father and mother, 81-year-old Frances Sliwa, are under no such constraints.
"Standing up puts him in danger," his dad said. "They'll be trying every different way to intimidate him, and there are plenty of people still around happy to do what Gotti wants."
"You never know what they're going to do," he added. "[Curtis] has always got to be on his guard. But I'm proud of him for taking a stand.
"This country was built by people taking risks for what is right. Some died, some survived. I hope he is one who survives."
Over the years, Frances Sliwa has begged her son to stop putting himself at risk - but is now resigned to his refusal to hide.
"A million times a day I'd say, 'Curtis, you don't have to do this. There's so much out there you can do that's safe,'" she said.
"He says he could walk across the street and get killed, but I'm his mother. I can't help worrying about his safety."
Gotti, the son of the late Dapper Don, is on trial for a slew of crimes, including allegedly plotting the 1992 attack on Sliwa, who was abducted and shot by two Gambino thugs.
The assault supposedly was ordered to stop Sliwa from dissing the Dapper Don, then the Gambino family boss, on the airwaves.
Sliwa briefly went into hiding after the younger Gotti was indicted last year, fearing mobsters hellbent on vengeance.
But he quickly emerged, defiant as ever, and today is expected to describe the attack that he says turned a taxi into "a moving coffin" and left his body riddled with bullet holes.
The Manhattan Federal Court jury already has heard mob turncoat Joseph (Little Joey) D'Angelo recall Junior Gotti's instructions regarding Sliwa.
"He's getting personal," he quoted the mob scion as saying. "I want us to get personal."
Gotti's mother, Victoria, issued a staunch defense of her son in diaries published by The News earlier this month.
The Sliwas read them and say she has a right to her opinion - and Victoria declined an opportunity to respond at length to the couple's comments.
"As a mother, I truly feel for [Sliwa's] elderly parents, but I do not believe my son is responsible," she said in a statement. "I feel [Sliwa] wanted a Gotti blamed, and any Gotti will do."
The Sliwas still live in the same house in Canarsie where Curtis grew up at a time when the neighborhood was predominately Italian-American.
"He grew up with the Mafia," said his father.
"He played stickball with a lot of the people involved in it now. He knew what they were, how they operate, he knew a lot of people round here who looked at the Mafia guys with reverence. But Curtis knew it was wrong. His opinions were formed because he was there, he saw everything."
When Sliwa was shot in the taxi on June 19, 1992, the imploding bullets left so many scars he couldn't be sure how many hit him - though he believes two slugs entered his stomach and another went through both legs.
His parents said it's amazing he wasn't killed.
"I remember getting that call saying he'd been shot," said his father. "His mother was hysterical, but I managed to stay calm.
"I was the first to see him. He was coming in and out of consciousness. He opened his eyes and looked at me, he sort of had a little smile on his face.
"I knew he was going to pull through. I went on his radio station and said, 'He's going to live.'"
"It was a miracle, that he survived that," said his mother. "To this day, I still can't figure it out."
The mob depends on intimidation to exist. Nothing motivates them more than someone willing to stand tall against them. They are useless eaters, pond scum, not to be glorified in any way.
He might have a "Wyatt Earp" complex, or whatever, but I think he's a brave guy who is not afraid to do what's right. I like him on the air, too.
... exploiting the lives of her family, ie, her overindulged sons.....
.... and allowing the rest of us poor schmucks a glimpse of her big mansion, fine clothes and spoiled wife lifestyle.
...btw, I didn't watch it....but sure saw plenty of promo spots for it!!!!
Sorry 'at bay', that was supposed to go to Victor.
Sorry 'at bay', that was supposed to go to Victor.
No thats the daughter...victoria jr..
Hooray for Chester, Frances and Curtis Sliwa. Great Americans.
I find that show disgusting as well. It glorifies these worthless vultures living off the blood money of organized crime. I hope Curtis gets as many of those thugs as possible put away.
In the past they have really gone after him.
Thanks....I didn't know.
Her brother John Gotti, Jr. is on trial for the kidnapping of Curtis Sliwa and other RICO violations.
God bless him, I hope his parents stay safe too.
..and John Gotti, Jr. was the Don wannabe...
Do I have that right?
SR. was the dapper don. His son took over while he was in jail.