NEW YORK — A reputed associate of the Bonanno crime family was fatally gunned down in a gangland hit in broad daylight as he waited in line for a cup of coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru.
Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola, 71, was shot once in the head and four times in the torso after his car got boxed in while he waited in line outside the Bronx fast food eatery. He was pronounce dead at the scene.
The hit was the latest in a series of threatening attacks on Zottola and his family in recent months. In July, his 41-year-old son, Salvatore, was shot outside his Bronx home in what authorities believed was a message meant for his father.
Last September, the elder Zottola was clubbed over the head as he walked near his home by an unknown attacker, police said. Two months later, a gunman tried to force Zottola into a car but failed.
In December, Zottola was stabbed in the neck when he walked on robbers ransacking his home. Then in June, Zottola drove off an approaching gunman by pulling out his pistol and firing several rounds before the man could get too close.
Zottola had been charged with illegal weapons possession following that episode.
Zottola was a noted associate of “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, who briefly led the Bonanno crime family in the early 2000s. Basciano began serving a life sentence in 2007.