The mozzarella maestro brutally stabbed on Smith Street last week is being charged with attempted murder — just like the ex-con who put him in a hospital bed, authorities said on Monday.
Internationally known pizzaiolo Mark Iacono, 44, owner of Lucali, is now in the same saucepot as his alleged mob-connected combatant Benny Geritano, 38, who claimed at his arraignment on Sunday that he acted in self-defense.
“They’re both being charged with the same crime,” said a spokesman for District Attorney Charles Hynes.
Iacono’s acclaimed restaurant, located on Henry and Summit Streets, is a critic’s favorite, heralded by GQ magazine as the country’s second-best pizzeria.
But on Friday, it was the pizza man who was repeatedly sliced in the head, neck, back and stomach in front of Joe’s Superette on Smith Street and Carroll Street, his blood staining a roadway that’s gone from the bada-bing of mobster “Crazy” Joe Gallo’s days, to the bada-bling of the $14-martini set.
According to the Post, the bloody altercation began when Geritano accused Iacono of trying to steal his dolce tesoro, 37-year-old Annette Angeloni.
“They were fighting over the woman,” the source said. “Benny said, ‘Stay away from Annette! She’s living with me now!’” the paper reported.
Iacono continues to convalesce in Lutheran Medical Center, where he is in stable condition, and has not been arraigned.
Iacono was dumbstruck about the charges, according to the Post.
“They think this is some kind of mob story. I was just trying to defend myself,” he told our sister publication.
Geritano, who prosecutors called “a violent predator,” beat an attempted murder charge in the 1990s. He’s currently on probation until 2013 on a racketeering rap, prosecutors said.
And his stepfather was reportedly Anthony “Shorty” Mascuzzio, a member of John Gotti’s inner circle who was murdered in a nightclub in 1987.
Geritano’s lawyer, Steven Kartagener, did not return several calls for comment.
Opened in 2006 at the site of Louie’s Candy Store, Lucali also has thin link to the mob: Dominick “Black Dom” Dionisio of the Colombo crime family once worked for Iacono while awaiting a trial for an armed robbery.
As of Monday, Lucali remains closed.
Both Iacono and Geritano, whose family run Bagels by the Park on Smith Street near President Street, have known each other since childhood.
Both have maintained a vow of silence, refusing to tell investigators what sparked the violence.
©2011 Community News Group
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