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In celebration of throwback week when we see Britains acting difficult over Brexit, Trump issuing threats over his wall? we got a marvelous escape with an old school whacking of a Gambino boss in the outer borough of Staten Island.

In honor of that we plumbed our mobster archives for Artistic examples of foreign guineas shooting each other and domestic greaseballs sharing the love with lead at 1400 feet per second!

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Shootout Under the L.I.R.R.

by Bobby Batsallota 

Throughout my life, I have been in quite a few dangerous, even lethal situations. You actually didn’t know if you would live or die. You did know one thing was for sure in these situations, death would be violent and hopefully fast. While in prison during this past 12 years, about four years ago, another convict named Joseph “Maddog” Sullivan, who built up a false prison reputation as a tough guy, because of his reputation on the streets as a “Mad Dog” killer and hitman for, of all people, Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, head of the family I was aligned with almost all of my life.

On the streets, being a “tough guy” killer didn’t transfer automatically to the much tougher, extremely violent life behind the walls of maximum security prisons, where almost everyone was dangerous. Besides, Sullivan was, and is to this day, a strong, cold coward and a covert “snitch” for the administration of the prison he has been in for the last 10 years or more. That is precisely why he put out a hit on me. He knew that I, better than anyone, knew of at least a couple of his foul acts and he personally didn’t have the balls to confront me. He is now 64 and at that time was 60, but a very fit 60. I am 5 years his junior. There was a black guy in the prison with us named “Natural,” a 5%er. Natural was a dangerous guy with a shank and he reveled in his reputation and he also knew Sullivan was scared to death of him. “Natural” would constantly belittle Sullivan in front of everyone, and knew Sullivan was and still is a big time drug user. Natural would make him beg for drugs. Sullivan’s huge ego and prestige were dwindling rapidly so he tried to enlist me and another convict to set up Natural and get him put in the box and boated (sent) out of the prison. I refused to help. The other inmate, like most of the white guys in the prison, thought Sullivan was a God and would do his bidding without question. He got this guy’s wife to send magazines in with hacksaw blades cleverly concealed in them, but would never make it through the package room metal detector. They were sent in Natural’s name. The administration of course wanted the inmate to accept this package so he could be charged with having tools used for an escape, a very heavy charge. So Natural, knowing nothing, walked right into Sullivan’s trap and took the magazines back to his cell, where within minutes they swept down on him and seized the hacksaws. Natural got at least a couple of years in the box for that and once again Sullivan was the power at the prison. He also was always plotting an escape and always will. He is the only man to ever escape from Attica prison. He had a big mouth and at least ten guys, including me, knew of his latest plan to escape.

With something like that, you keep it to yourself. So when that plan imploded on him, he blamed me, a guy who wouldn’t bow to him and knew how treacherous he was. It was time to get rid of me permanently so he enlisted a young Guido from Howard Beach, who was a junkie and gave him a couple of bags of junk to take me off the count.

I was in the big yard watching a softball game, when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone moving quickly towards me with an object in his hands. I caught the move too late and was cracked in the temple with a full force swing by this Guido with a 5lb rock. As I was going down, semi-blacking out, he hit me again, this time breaking two bones in my eye socket and then he hit me one last time in the front of my face, breaking my nose and giving me 17 stitches in my mouth, as well as 6 on my face. He then threw the rock over the wall and ran away, losing himself in the almost 200 guys in the yard.

However, even semi-unconscious, I saw him as he threw the rock and ran away. I was hurt very badly from the temple shot and lost a lot of blood which left a trail all the way through the yard and through the corridors to the infirmary. My entire face was distorted and I literally looked like the “Elephant Man.” I was taken to Albany Medical Center where a neurologist told me if I’d been hit ¼ inch over I’d be either dead or a vegetable for life.

As it was, I had to keep going back for cat scans because the doctors were afraid that I could get a blood clot in my brain at any moment because of the severity of my injury. It took me a couple of months to recover in the infirmary. My face was swollen almost twice its normal size. My eyes were totally closed for a week. I’ve always known most hit men are truly cowards, because they strike in the darkness or come at you from behind in daylight’s hours. It’s like a hunter killing an unsuspecting deer. That is not bravery. You’re not facing a man face to face, who is armed like you are.

To top it all off, the administration knows Sullivan ordered the hit, but did nothing about it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Sullivan ordered it, because a real tough guy friend of mine cornered the Guido who hit me and smacked him around and the Guido gave Sullivan right up.

Hopefully when Natural reads this, he or other members of the 5%ers will seek revenge on Sullivan. I have no other way of getting at him, so I took this way of at least tarnishing his reputation.

So now on to my second brush with death. Although I didn’t get physically hurt, it was like I was surrounded (which I was) by an army of gooks in Vietnam and my way out was very slim at least. I had another guy with me, so I wasn’t going to die alone. Bullets were literally flying all around us from two sides and we had a 38 Colt pistol, a 25 and a sawed-off shotgun with us and my Lincoln Mark III for cover. Here’s how it began: For a while back in ’78 and ’79, I was working for a different Genovese Capo, who owned a huge modern disco in Queens, that on an average night would pack in about 400 young people. My function, along with a partner of mine, was to be a bouncer and maintain order in this sometimes wild joint.

There were 3 other bouncers, but my partner John and I worked the door and collected the $5 cover charge. Usually, except for the occasional fight between 2 or 3 kids, which we easily controlled, the club was in a heavily ethnic Italian area and most of the kids knew who owned the joint and wouldn’t cause trouble. Numerous wiseguys would stop by on any given night for a cocktail, among them John and Gene Gotti. So one Saturday night, as John and I were at the door, along comes trouble with a “capital T.” Two cars loaded with Guidos, who we later found out were from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the world capital of “Guidoism,” pulled up, double parked (a “no-no” in front of the joint) and out they piled. I said to them, “Whoa guys, move the car and park it anywhere you can find.”

The mumbles immediately started, with statements from them such as, “Do you know who the fuck I am?” “Do you know who my father and uncle are?” “Do you mutts feel like gettin a beating?” “We will smack the shit out of you,” etc. etc. As soon as this shit started, one of the local kids who heard and watched this whole exchange and knew big trouble was about to start, because both John and I had explosive tempers when pushed and both of us were ready to take care of these young punks all by ourselves.

John was a big guy, about 6’, a rock solid 240 lbs and hit like a mule. Me at only 5’11” and 180 lbs was excellent with my fists and anything I could get my hands on. Anyway, this kid went straight inside to the Skipper, who was sitting at the bar with about 5 other wiseguys, including John Gotti, and told him what was going on. The Skipper told him, “Don’t worry, Kenny and John will handle it.”

The Skipper, along with the other wiseguys, then moved to the front window and stationed themselves where they could clearly see everything unfold before their eyes. I gave John the look that only eyes were needed for. It said, “Okay, Brother, it’s time to get busy.” This look passed between us on other occasions also.

On the ground next to the chair I sat in was a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red that I was holding for someone. I turned around, saying nothing to the Guidos and picked up the bottle and immediately cracked the #1 Guido right in the nose, which broke wide open, spattering blood all over him and everywhere else. He went right down.

John hit the guy standing next to him simultaneously and he went down like a “sack of wet cow shit thrown in a pool.” I hit the kid on the other side with a vicious left hook and a follow-up right hand. He too hit the ground and even bounced once for effect. The other four kids were petrified by now and didn’t know what to do. They probably wished they were on the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy or in Disneyland playing “Uno” with Mickey and Goofy. They didn’t want to be where they were, that was for shit sure.

They say, “Discretion is the better part of valor” sometimes and these last 4 had a lot of discretion and little, if any, valor. They took off like four bats out of Hell, running for their lives. I then went over to big mouth Guido and kicked him in the ribs 5 or 6 times and once in the face. I figured while he was still young, maybe he would learn a valuable life’s lesson and learn to talk to people with respect and to keep his big mouth shut unless he was able to back it up, which he clearly wasn’t. They also had refused to pay the $5 cover charge when John asked them to, saying, “We ain’t paying a fuckin dime to get in this shithole; you should pay us for coming here.”

They obviously were told about the place by some “guidettes” and had no idea that a wiseguy owned the joint and for shit sure had no idea who was sitting inside, witnessing their uncalled for antics and well-deserved following beating. I didn’t realize how badly I fucked this kid up. The bone from his nose was totally visible and four of his ribs were broken. When his two friends got up cowering, they were told by me and John to “pick that mutt up and put him in your car and get the fuck out of here and never come back.” This wise ass punk ended up in the hospital for a couple of weeks and before he even got out, “the shit really hit the fan.”

The Skipper got a call a couple of days later and was told by a Capo from another family (the Gambinos, Gotti’s family), that no matter what the kids did, they wanted “the fuckin guys who did this to my son dead.” They were both Capos and on equal footing, so mob protocol had to be followed. A “sit down” was called for between the two families. My Skipper and the kid’s father and uncle, also a wiseguy, would not listen to reason and would accept nothing but my death and a beating for John at least equal to the one I gave the kid. My Skipper was in the right because these punks had tried to violate his joint and were put in their place, perhaps a little too violently, but still deservedly so. They were at an impasse and the Skipper warned us to lay low for awhile, until they kicked the matter upstairs to the respective heads of the two families for an iron-clad resolution.

Even John Gotti, who stuck up for us, but was only a soldier at that time and under the Manhattan-Queens faction of the split Gambino family, not the Bensonhurst-based faction headed by Paulie Castellano. John and I said, “fuck it” we will still move around, but cautiously and well-armed. John didn’t drive, so I always picked him up in my Lincoln. I was carrying a 38 at all times. We kept a sawed-off shotgun with a box of shells under the seat of my Lincoln and John had a 25 Beretta in his boot at all times.

One night we decided to go to the club with the Skipper’s permission. He didn’t think anything would happen until the decision came down from the top; neither did we. Boy oh boy, were we all wrong and what ensued was straight out of the pages of The Godfather or Full Metal Jacket. We closed the club up around 4:00 am one night and by the time we got ready to leave, daylight would be approaching soon. Apparently, the Guidos had someone watching for us at the club and when they saw us there, called Brooklyn and let them know “the sitting ducks were there.” So when we got in my Lincoln, safely parked behind the joint, inside locked gates (thank God, or we probably would have been hit right there in the parking lot), one of the bartenders unlocked the gate for us and we swung out into the street and headed for John’s house, about 2 miles away.

We were staying there together, until this shit got resolved (safety in numbers theory). To get to John’s house, you had to drive under a L.I.R.R. tunnel with narrow sidewalks, and because parking was so difficult in that area, people actually parked their cars under the tunnel, half on the sidewalk, half on the street, with 2 narrow lanes going in opposite directions. Just before we entered the tunnel, a car came up behind us quickly, with his blinding bright lights shining in my car. John and I were seasoned street guys, we didn’t need to be told what was about to happen. John reached for the sawed-off, I pulled out my 38.

I was about to floor it and put some distance between us when all of a sudden at the far end of the tunnel, a car came towards us with its brights on and swing into position to block us in the tunnel. This shit was really happening. I wasn’t in the middle of a dream, or on an M.G.M. movie set. John and I were blocked in a tunnel at 5:15 in the morning, by two carloads of armed guys and were a few minutes at most away from greeting St. Peter or Lucifer. There was no foreseeable way out for us.

I slammed on my brakes, put the car on an angle, half on, half off the sidewalk. John swung his door open on the passenger side, I scrambled across the seat to get out next to him, while all the while bullets were flying all around us from two sides. They were ricocheting off the concrete wall of the tunnel and over 50 bullets hit my car. My windows were shattered, front and back. I have no fucking idea how none of them hit us. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel had to be sitting on our shoulders. We really couldn’t pick our heads up to return fire, all we could do was shoot up at the fucking ceiling of the tunnel, to let them know at least we had guns. The noise of this gunfire was deafening, it was like we were in an echo chamber and the sounds of all the guns being fired sounded like two thousand man armies were shooting at each other. Then for some reason I’ll never know, and John doesn’t either, and he did it without getting killed, John must have thought he was “Audie Murphy,” cause he stood straight up and let go a blast out of that double barrel that literally sounded like someone shot off a cannon. I immediately lost my hearing, as did John, and those guys in front of us stopped firing. We didn’t know why, because we couldn’t hear the sound of sirens fast approaching until they got closer to us.

Now we knew why they left so fast. We jumped into our chariot and also beat it the hell out of there, probably only a step ahead of the cops. I ducked into a side street real quick, put my lights out and somehow we made it to John’s house. He jumped out, opened the garage and put our Valiant Lincoln, which was badly wounded into the garage. We counted the bullet holes in my car the next morning. There was 57 bullet holes in my car and no windows at all. Holes were in the seats also. Those ’70 Lincolns were built like tanks.

We went to bed, after having 3 or 4 belts of scotch each. We woke up about 5 hours later and called the Skipper and told him what happened. He told us to stay off the streets. I perhaps told him a little too sarcastically, “No shit, I was thinking of taking a walk to Bensonhurst.” He let it slide. Another sit down ensued, this time with John and I present, as well as the kids we fucked up.

The Consiglieris of both families were there, representing their bosses. We were told we were right and because we didn’t know the kid’s father and uncles were wiseguys and the kids didn’t know it was a wiseguy joint, it was a wash and all further retaliation was to cease immediately or we all would be whacked. Amen to that, I happily thought.

I had heard a couple of years later that kid got his button (became a made guy), as did John. I also was told that Guido mellowed out quite a bit after his beating, so maybe he did learn a lesson, to a degree.

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(This is the third of a selection of sample chapters, from an unpublished book from across the ocean, that awaits a publishing contract. To read the first sample, click here. To read the second sample click here. The stories are true).

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