In a Manhattan federal court, reputed Mafia kingpin John Gotti Junior faces multiple charges including, racketeering and conspiring to kidnap and murder radio show host Curtis Silwa.
Prosecutors say Silwa was shot while hailing a taxicab in 1992 after being targeted for criticizing John Gotti Sr. on his radio show.
Silwa spoke to 'The Situation' on Monday about the information that almost cost him his life.
TUCKER CARLSON, 'SITUATION' HOST: I have to say, I remember this really well. In 1992, you were in a cab in New York. Someone started shooting at you from inside the cab. The cab had been modified in a chop shop to make it hard for you to get out the door, and you fell out the window.
And the “New York Times” subsequently and, I believe also “The New York Post,” ran stories suggesting that you made the whole thing up. And I got to be honest, I thought you did, too.
CURTIS SLIWA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST & FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Well, you were part of the majority. At WABC Radio where I hosted the morning show, many of my colleagues throughout the day just couldn’t fathom, couldn’t imagine, first, that organized crime would attack a commentator, a talk show host, a writer, a cop.
CARLSON: Yes, why did they do that? I think you’re great, but why would the Gottis want to kill you? I mean, a lot of people criticized them.
SLIWA: Yes, but you see, Tucker, that’s all a myth. It’s been proven time and time again. They’ve gone after prosecutors and cops and reporters and commentators.
I grew up with them. I took a different path. They went through their formative years and decided to become degenerates and enemies of society.
Obviously, you know what I did. Twenty-six years ago, I formed the Guardian Angels in New York City. It’s now a group that exists in 60 cities around the world. And we’re crime fighters.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second. They didn’t just shoot you because you are a good guy and they’re bad news.
SLIWA: Oh, no, no.
CARLSON: There are a lot of reporters who spend a lot of time criticizing the mafia. There are a lot of federal prosecutors who put them in jail. Why did they choose you? Do you have any clue?
SLIWA: Tucker, because they were in the suites, the reporters, and they were analyzing the John Gotti Sr. trial. Ultimately, he was found guilty and went away, triple life without parole.
But you see, growing up in the streets, I knew street information about John Gotti Sr., John Gotti Jr., relatives of theirs, Gambino crime members who had committed crimes that had never been solved. And I knew who had committed these crimes, and I knew the victims, who took the code of omerta because they were afraid of retribution.
And I would go on and on, and literally detail the many crimes that they had never been accused of or prosecuted, and it drove John Gotti Sr. to the point where I believe he told his son, John Gotti Jr., who was running the family while he was in jail, “Silence Curtis.”
And they tried to with baseball bats the first time in April of 1992, hit me 28 times. Tried to turn me into a zucchini, a vegetable. And when that didn’t work, two months later, as you mentioned.
CARLSON: Yes. They shot you in the cab. Did you recognize the guys who shot you? Did you know them? Do you know them now? Do you know who they were?
SLIWA: Well, the government indicates that it’s Yanotti, who was ordered by John Gotti Jr. to do it at the time of the shooting. Now remember, Tucker, I’m sitting in the back. I’m relaxing, reading the “Post,” the news. I’m on my way to WABC.
This guy pops up from under the dash board. He’s got a mask on, and an Irish walking cap, and the first thing I see is, “Take this, you son of a B,” and pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.
Now you can imagine, at that point you’re like, bing, bing, bing bing, Ricochet Rabbit, I got to get out of here.
CARLSON: How loud is a gun in the back of a taxicab?
SLIWA: Oh, explosive. And remember, this is nanoseconds, but to me, time goes on forever, until finally I realized there was one window open. It was in the front next to the driver on the passenger side, where the gunman was. I had only one chance and one chance only or I’d be room temperature.
I dove. I leapt through the window, only made it halfway out. The driver smashed me up against the parked cars. And that’s what discharged me after being shot so many times.
CARLSON: That’s pretty dramatic, even for New York. Now tell me, finally, do you think Gotti Jr. is reformed? I keep reading these stories in “The Daily News,” he’s a decent guy. You think that’s right?
SLIWA: What great revisionism. Yes, he’s a born again, right? He’s a law abiding God-fearing citizen. Well, even if that’s true, that he converted in 2000, he did this to me in 1992, and we’re not giving absolution. I can’t wait, Tucker, that he gets found guilty, gets put away, then goes straight to hell without an asbestos suit.
CARLSON: Yes. You know, I’d be annoyed, too, if someone shot me in a cab.