Smith Street was awash in blood Friday afternoon after a popular Carroll Gardens pizzaman with possible ties to organized crime was stabbed multiple times by a crooked bagelmaker a few blocks from the victim’s acclaimed pizzeria.
Police said Mark Iacono, 43, — the owner of Lucali, a Henry Street pizzeria, who once “employed” a reputed member of the Columbo crime family — was knifed in the face, back and leg outside of Joe’s Superette, near Carroll Street and across from PS 58.
According to the New York Post, Benny Geritano, a 38-year-old ex-con who Iacono has known since childhood, was arguing with the victim moments before pulling out a long kitchen knife and wildly slashing him at around 2:45 pm.
At press time, Iacono was in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center, and Geritano was at Long Island College Hospital being treated for cuts to his hands — presumably a byproduct of the melee.
Geritano, who worked at a Bagels by the Park on Smith Street near President Street, is reported to have a history of violence: he’s on probation for criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Post, and he beat two attempted murder charges in the 1990s. Geritano’s stepfather was Anthony “Shorty” Mascuzzio, a member of John Gotti’s inner circle who was murdered in a nightclub in 1987, the paper reported.
Friends described Iacono as a neighborhood lifer who worked as a contractor before entering the restaurant business.
“He’s not a loud guy who gets into fights or scrapes,” said John Esposito, owner of the Sal’s Pizzeria, on Court and Degraw streets, who called Iacono a customer. “This is a shock.”
But the restaurant itself has a saucy history.
Colombo crime family associate Dominick “Black Dom” Dionisio once worked there while awaiting trial for a shooting and armed robbery. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri charged in court papers that Dionisio never spun a pie and only used his “employment” as a ruse to satisfy his bail conditions.
Lucali, located on Henry Street near Summit Street, was closed Friday in the wake of the violence. It been a critic’s darling despite its association to organized crime, being named best pizzeria in the city by Zagat’s and rated second best pizza in the country by GQ magazine.