Man accused of assault in SI calls alleged victim ‘a menace to the neighborhood’
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Man accused of assault in SI calls alleged victim ‘a menace to the neighborhood’

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — In case an accused Staten Island drug lord posts bail, a judge on Wednesday issued a full protection order on behalf of a man who police say was attacked by the defendant.

However, the defense lawyer describes the complainant in the case as a “danger to the neighborhood” who has had clashes with police.

Ettore Mazzei, 61, who already faces charges stemming from a two-year wiretap drug investigation surrounding his commercial and residential properties in Stapleton, was charged separately in connection with the alleged May 11 assault incident.

Also charged in the case is his son, 34-year-old David Mazzei, who authorities say contributed to the violence, which began with a verbal altercation with the victim.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said Ettore Mazzei had been trying to evict the man for some time before the fight.

Both defendants were charged with second- and third-degree assault.

They were arraigned Wednesday by Judge Ralph Porzio, who set bail for Ettore Mazzei at $5,000 bail, on top of bail already set by another judge in the drug case at $3 million cash or $5 million bond.

Mazzei’s release from Rikers Island in the face of multiple open cases before the Supreme Court of St. George would require a deposit of 10% of the bond asset value and/or assistance from co-signatories.

Arguing Wednesday to waive bail for Ettore Mazzei in his assault case, defense lawyer Yan Katsnelson noted that the government had already frozen the defendant’s assets.

“Any higher bond will essentially amount to an arrest,” Katsnelson said.

After hearing from both sides, Porzio set bail at $5,000 cash or $5,000 bond.

“Both of these are serious issues and I want everyone to know that I take these issues very seriously,” Porzio said.

He issued a full protection order on behalf of the alleged victim in the assault case, highlighting the lack of an accidental contact clause.

“He could post bail,” Porzio said.

David Mazzei, who has a background in commercial contracts, appeared in court voluntarily wearing a shirt and neatly slicked back hair. He was released on his own recognizance.

Porzio also issued a protective order against David Mazzei on behalf of the same alleged victim. However, this document contains an exception for incidental contact.

On Wednesday, Katsnelson asked prosecutors to explain to the complainant that David Mazzei may visit some of his father’s properties as part of his daily job duties.

The complainant, said Katsnelson, who also has a reason to be in the area, repeatedly called police on his client for false reasons.

Prosecutors agreed to provide the information.

After the hearing, Katsnelson further stated that the applicant was a “danger to the neighborhood.”

“He was arrested multiple times in this building and harassed other tenants and customers at various restaurants,” Katsnelson said. “The police were called to him several times that day.”

The case was adjourned to August 5 before Judge Lisa Gray.

Hit in the face

The complaint states that at approximately 2:30 p.m., Elder Mazzei, while holding a “blunt object,” struck the victim on the left side of his face.

Authorities said the pair began punching and kicking the man “in and around his body.” Mazzei then allegedly threw him out the window while both men continued to beat him.

Lawyer Ettore Mazzei said Wednesday that prosecutors have not yet presented “any evidence of a crime.”

“All I hear from the prosecutor’s office is a lot of accusations and childish insults,” said defense attorney Mark Fonte. “I’m waiting for them to replace their words with evidence.”

Drug possession, car impounded

As of Wednesday, the younger Mazzei had two open cases in Criminal Court.

One of them is charged with illegal possession of a pocket knife and a traffic offense in connection with an April 25 traffic stop.

The second is that he was allegedly found with crack cocaine on May 22, the same day that police raided several of his father’s properties and arrested about 20 people.

The case of Ettore Mazzei