'Guardian Angels' Founder Curtis Sliwa Has Run-In With Gotti Mobster Who Allegedly Tried To Kill Him In 1992

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Who Is Curtis Sliwa? 'Guardian Angels' Founder Has Run-In With Mobster Who Tried To Kill Him In 1992

Though mobsters and mafiosos are people we think only existed from the 1930s to the 2000s, it’s hard to believe they’d ever truly disappear. Names like Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, Baby Face Nelson, Bugs Moran, and Sam Giancana remind us of a time when mobsters were in the pockets of politicians, and wreaked all sorts of violence and havoc throughout cities. 

But family members of these mobsters still exist, and while they won’t admit outright to being in the actual Mafia, the impact of their murders and crime still lingers. Especially when it comes to John Gotti, Jr., boss of the Gambino crime family and son of notorious gangster, John Gotti.

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Who is Curtis Sliwa? In 1977, he formed the Guardian Angels, a group in New York City dedicated to combating “widespread violence and crime on the New York City Subway system.” They wore signature red berets and white t-shirts. His notoriety led to an attempted murder in 1992. 

At the time, a taxi picked him up, where gunmen were hiding in the front seat, shooting Sliwa several times. Sliwa jumped from the front window while the cab was in motion and escaped.

Gotti Jr. was charged with the attempted murder and other charges, apparently driven by anger at Sliwa’s comments about his father. Charges were dropped and prosecutors didn’t retry Gotti.

Though the gunshots didn’t kill him, he suffered injuries and had to undergo surgery. He told the New York Post, “The surgeons warned me that if the hollow-point bullets didn’t kill me, they would cause me more gastronomical issues [down the line]. And they did.” Sliwa developed “severely ulcerated intestines,” and, as he described it, “It’s like having Dante’s ‘Inferno’ in your stomach.” 

After being constantly sick and suffering from stomach issues after being diagnosed with Crohn’s, he underwent an almost 7-hour surgery to correct his intestines. In 2017, he revealed that his diet consisted of Gatorade and turkey sandwiches: “Anything else, [and my] whole stomach would become a granite block. There’s reflux, and I’m nauseous all the time.” 

Despite his medical issues, Sliwa then went on to host various radio programs and talk shows. But he’s also known for his numerous weddings and marriages. He’s been married four times, and his third wife, Mary Galda, eventually sued him. In 2019, she wed former New Jersey governor, David Paterson, whom Sliwa actually once shared a radio show with!

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And now, Sliwa and the Gottis have come into contact once again.

Over the weekend, the families attended a wedding in Staten Island. Though they were “kept on opposite sides of the room,” Sliwa admits to shooting looks towards the Gotti family.

He told Page Six, “I would look in [Gotti Jr.’s] direction. You couldn’t miss John and his sister [Victoria Gotti]. To use street terminology, I was mad-dogging him. People were reminding me this was my friend’s wedding — don’t make a scene; don’t get into a dust-up. There were a lot of people... taking my temperature and trying to distract me.”

Well, wouldn’t you be pretty angry and upset if the man who was accused of kidnapping and trying to murder you, was present at your friend’s wedding? 

The Gotti family, however, is apparently furious about the story that Page Six ran, accusing Sliwa of using the occasion as a publicity stunt. Angel Gotti, sister of John Gotti Jr., took to Twitter to air her grievances:

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When Page Six reached out for comment, she replied, “[Sliwa would] sell his kids for attention and publicity. I don’t know who is worse: he or [Gambino family turncoat] John Alite. Two [people] who can’t seem to get attention unless they’re lying about Gotti, Gotti, Gotti!”

John Gotti’s grandson, Frank Gotti Albano, also tweeted about the wedding. He followed up in another tweet, saying, “I think he was jealous that more people from the wedding came to our side of the room and lined up to take pics w my uncle and my family, and no one gave a s*** he was there, wearing his goofy red beret.”

It’s been 25 years since Sliwa’s attempted murder, but it seems like the Gottis continue to have beef with him. After all, he literally dodged their bullets.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.