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Police seek person of interest in shooting outside C’Gardens restaurant

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Crime bites: Cops are investigating after a snake fired bullets outside of Marco Polo Ristorante on Feb. 25, some of which hit the eatery’s facade.

Cops are hunting for a man in a fedora they want to interrogate about the shooter who opened fire outside a Court Street Italian restaurant known for its alleged ties to the Mafia last month.

Surveillance footage shows the 6-foot person of interest walking nearby Marco Polo Ristorante in a dark hat and coat at 5:43 am on Feb. 25 — about 15 minutes before a gun-toting weasel pumped three bullets into the eatery’s exterior around 6 am, according to authorities.

Investigators later found 10 shells and multiple bullet fragments across the street from the popular restaurant, where officials said the snake took aim from.

The red-sauce staple — whose founder Joseph Chirico pleaded guilty in 2008 to laundering money for the notorious Gambino family decades after he opened the neighborhood institution in 1983 — was the gunman’s only target, according to police. But Chirico’s son and co-owner, Marco Chirico, adamantly denied the rumors of Mafia involvement in the shooting, and claimed bullets also hit a car parked nearby.

A Police Department spokesman couldn’t confirm whether cops believe the fedora-wearing man is connected to organized crime, citing the ongoing investigation.

“We wouldn’t know until we caught him,” said Sergeant Jones.

The younger Chirico declined to comment.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577–8477. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:47 pm, July 9, 2018
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