Vinny Limo, Victim of Meat Cleaver Attack, Arrested

Vinny Limo
REVISED, MORE DETAILS: Talk of the Sound reported that Vincent "Vinny Limo" Zarcone, 47, a former social club manager (what??), was arrested by New Rochelle Police on August 28, 2014.

He was charged with a misdemeanor: criminal mischief .

Some may recall Zarcone from a couple of earlier incidents -- one of which was the 2009 meat clever attack in which Vinny Limo's right hand was hacked off by Christopher Calise, assisted by Maurice Mann, who held Vinny Limo.

The vicious attack was believed at the time to be possibly connected to the remnants of a Westchester/Bronx Genovese family-run gambling ring busted up years earlier. The victim, Vinny Limo, had been arrested for his involvement in the operation.

In fact, it was reported at the time that the FBI's Organized Crime Task Force was looking into the club in which Zarcone worked. The cleaning lady insisted that he was a "good fellow," telling CBS2, "He works downstairs, the computer."

Good fellow or Goodfella, we wonder....

Christopher Calise, of Yonkers and Mann, 40, of Fort Lee, N.J., pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges. Calise also pleaded not guilty to a felony weapon charge. They both plead out, however: "Mann pled guilty to assault in the first degree and was sentenced to 7½ years in prison and five years probation. Calise had pled guilty to assault in the first and degree, attempted assault in the first degree, assault in second degree criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and menacing in the second degree." The judge hit him with 15 years in state prison and five years parole.

Calise and Mann tracked down Zarcone at the Sound Shore Fishing Club on June 7.

The Demon's Den, via a now-dead newspaper link ( provided a graphic account of what transpired next::
"When Zarcone couldn't pay his debt, Assistant District Attorney Livia Rodriguez said, Calise started swinging the meat cleaver at the victim's head, yelling: "Gimme your arm! I want to cut it off!" 
Meanwhile, Mann was holding Zarcone and trying to pull out his arm, the prosecutor said. During the struggle, it is alleged, Calise sliced up the victim's ankles and said he would keep going unless Zarcone gave him his arm. 
Calise managed to get a hold of Zarcone's right arm and nearly severed his hand at the wrist, Rodriguez said. "This was a brutal and vicious attack," she said. 
The two suspects are alleged to have fled in a rented Cadillac. New Rochelle police stopped the men, who had blood on their faces and clothes, and found the cleaver inside the vehicle, the prosecutor said. 
The attack wasn't Calise's first confrontation with the victim, Rodriguez said. Eleven days earlier, it is alleged, he tried to collect the debt from Zarcone at the social club and stabbed Zarcone in the back when he failed to pay. 
The prosecutor said witnesses to the May 27 attack heard Calise yelling: "You got to pay me the $50,000 you owe me! I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill your family!" Zarcone, a 42-year-old social club owner on probation for promoting gambling, did not report the alleged stabbing to police."

Zarcone "owed a substantial amount of money, and apparently Mr. Calise was unhappy with the payment schedule that had been worked out," said a lieutenant with the New Rochelle Police Department. 

Apparently, indeed.....

"[They] basically severed his right hand with a meat cleaver."

The same week as the meat clever attack, Anthony Piliero of New Rochelle was arrested at his home by the FBI and charged with attempting to hire a mafia hitman. An FBI informant, also from New Rochelle wore a wire and recorded conversations with Piliero, who was accused of trying to put a contract on a business associate back in 1999. He had hired a mob-connected friend to find a hit man. Piliero allegedly took out a $1 million insurance policy on the intended victim's life.

Back to Zarcone: He was arrested in a series of raids in 2004 and was convicted in 2005 for belonging to a $12 million sports betting rings. Zarcone pleaded guilty that year to first-degree promoting gambling and was sentenced to five years' probation.

The eight month long investigation was dubbed “Operation Strikeout” and some 34 were arrested -- but only 11 were convicted, including Vinny Limo.

The ring was divided into separate bookmaking and money laundering operations, one led by John “Blue” DeFroscia of Warren, a soldier in the Genovese crime family, and the other headed by a family associate, Thomas Conforti of Fairfield. Both men ran a large network of bookies and passed part of the profits to the Genovese crime family bosses.

DeFroscia, and Conforti used middle men to insulate themselves from their bookies. Michael Cirelli of Nutley served as Conforti’s right-hand man, while DeFroscia employed Paul “Shortline” Weber of New Rochelle, N.Y., and Gerald “Jay” Napolitano of Belleville.

Back in the 1970s, like so many other small cities all over the U.S., New Rochelle was rife with gangland violence as crime families ran their range of trusty rackets.

New Rochelle became so mobbed-up, the FBI opened a field office.

In 2005, Gambino capo Gregory DePalma was holding court all over town, especially within the United Hebrew Geriatric Center in New Rochelle, where his dying, comatose son lay in bed.

That's when Jack Falcone happened to pop into the capo's life, and we know how that turned out.
That same year, 2005, the New York Daily News ran a serial story described as:
...A three-part series exposing how real-life Tony Sopranos and mobbed-up contractors steal your tax dollars, put workers' lives in danger and even screw up traffic at rush hour.

It included a Mafia-run bridge project. The New York State Thruway Authority hired a construction company in April 2000 to fix an I-95 bridge in New Rochelle. The firm was owned by Robert Persico (Carmine's son, who supposedly isn't in the mob), who was later indicted for racketeering.

For nearly three years, lane closures and traffic stops became routine because of the construction project.
Prosecutors said in court then that Persico consulted the Gambino family to get a mob-controlled union to let him use nonunion help. In exchange, a Gambino soldier was given a no-show job.

By the time the project was half completed, Persico had already closed traffic lanes at the site on 101 occasions — far more than expected. Often, warning signs were not in place, and workers were left unprotected.


  1. Hey Ed. Great article.Please tell me how anybody gets away with anything with survelliance everywhere. Chicago and Baltimore, along with many other cities have cameras literally everywhere. I'm am very curious (and a little concerned) as to how criminals (especially LCN and various OC groups) will survive and adapt in the years to come. It seems nihilistic crimes of passion will always occur...but do you think the current LCN have people devoted to rising technology which appears will never peak. I'm sure this issue has been brought up on numerous occasions but I would love your input.

  2. Deacon not to many guys are running business in the streets anymore its all behind closed doors.

  3. Yeah. I got that. So these guys are adapting? I'm sure it's harder now because in any criminal organization you're gonna at least every now and again have to do something close to street level. Murder??? And it is true we really don't hear shit until there's a bust.I'm just wonder if I'll be reading great mob stories in 2035 about what's happening now. I honestly hope so

  4. See last story about Hector Pagan - the BIC investigation - surveillance camera malfunctioned. Just now, read of the Pizzolo hit - surveillance camera malfunctioned. I think, except on busy streets where you have dozens of these things running and overlapping, video surveillance not a major problem - NOW - because the guys are aware of it. The mob can find "patches" not caught on cameras. Vinny Gorgeous held meetings in cemeteries... "We don't fuck around out there," as one of them told me recently: ie., we know what we're doing... And guys working in stores can be bribed to unplug a machine... Don't think this would rank high as a concern.

  5. Ed, almost all the social clubs I've ever hung out in have what I would call a caretaker and what Vinny Limo's lawyer calls a social club manager. They keep the place clean, keep the bar stocked, make coffee, some of them cook food and serve drinks to card players when games are going on. Things of that nature. They are always an extremely low level guy working for a couple hundred a week and tips. I can remember Big Benny and another guy Tommy Socks two great guys who took care of the 2 clubs I frequented most in the old days. People loved Big Benny, must have had 20 wiseguys at his funeral.

  6. He would probably leave the mafia part out

  7. Very satisfying response. I admit I am paranoid about modern Minority Reportish surveillance tech for various reasons, although I suppose that's an issue for elsewhere. Keep up the good work paison!!!

  8. I miss my cousin Giacamo DiNorscio

  9. I am an out of work radio tech with 20 years exp. Looking for work in counter surveillance. Just throwing it out there!

  10. Hey, I can sympathize. Anyone else looking for work, post here. Readers empowered to hire, please pay attention....maybe I should start a classified section. Anyone looking to buy or sell mob memorabilia?

  11. Thanks Ed. It's rough out there!


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