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'Mob Wives' Star in Shakedown at Manhattan Nightclub, Police Say

By Murray Weiss | November 18, 2013 10:33pm
 Mob Wives Star in Manhattan shakedown.
Ramona Rizzo
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MANHATTAN — Ramona Rizzo — a star in “Mob Wives” whose grandfather was portrayed by Al Pacino in “Donnie Brasco” — used tactics worthy of her Mafia roots when she and two armed men allegedly shook down a former business associate at a Manhattan nightclub, DNAinfo New York has learned.

After Rizzo and her crew allegedly took $1,630 and a Rolex watch off their victim, he was left on a Chelsea street to ask a Power 105.1 radio DJ for cab fare home to Brooklyn, where he notified authorities, police said.

The confrontation began about 1:40 a.m. Saturday, when Rizzo's former associate claimed he was about to enter the Chelsea Manor Club at 138 W. 25th St., according to a police report obtained by DNAinfo. Two men — one a hulking 6-foot-9 — sidled up to him.

"What's the dress code to get in?" the gigantic patron innocently began as he stepped in front of the victim. He then grabbed the victim's right wrist as his accomplice pulled out a 9mm handgun.

"We have to talk," the gunman said ominously.

"Let’s take a walk down the block," he continued, or, "I’ll put two in you."

The victim, who sources described as a promoter, briefly struggled as the duo grabbed his wallet. He was then led west towards Seventh Avenue, where he spotted a white Chevrolet Traverse with yellow license plates parked on the north side of the street, which he knew was Rizzo’s.

She was sitting in the driver’s seat. As soon as he got inside, she started “yelling and cursing, demanding that he was going to pay her back," according to the report.

But before he could get another word in, the 6-foot-9 thug slammed him in the mouth. He then grabbed $1,630 from the victim's right back pants pocket and snatched a Royal Oak Rolex from his left wrist.

Rizzo took the watch and tossed it into her front-seat console. She told the victim to telephone Power 105.1's DJ Will to “have him come there to give him more money.”

Why Rizzo owed DJ Will any money is not clear. But he arrived not long after his radio show ended at 2 a.m.

Everyone got out of the Traverse and was standing in the middle of the street, when "Ms. Rizzo began swinging her arms and screaming at the victim," according to the police report.

"I’ll kill your kids," Rizzo screamed. "I’ll get your mother."

After the money was given to DJ Will, the two henchmen and Rizzo drove off in separate cars, leaving the victim alone with DJ Will on the dark street.

The beleaguered promoter asked DJ Will for enough cash to get a taxi home to Brooklyn, where he changed clothes and then filed a complaint at the local 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The following afternoon, Rizzo took to Twitter and Instagram revealing her gangster approach to people who cross her: 

“When U Steal or Rob From Any1, Make sure Ur About That Life.....If Not Get A Real Job!!!” she tweeted.

"If U Scam & Rob Girls ... Don't Think That The Streets Will Treat U Like 1 ....!!!!" she posted on Instagram.

Rizzo was born — and later married — into the life of La Cosa Nostra.

Her grandfather was Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggiero, who made the fatal mistake of introducing undercover FBI agent "Donnie Brasco" into a Bonanno Crime Family crew that ultimately was destroyed, with a half dozen top mobsters assassinated. Her granddad died in prison.

Last summer, Rizzo planned to marry her longtime Gambino crime family boyfriend, Joseph Sclafani. But weeks before the wedding, Sclafani was packed off to prison for 15 years for distributing millions of dollars in cocaine.

Rizzo starred on the third season of the hit "Mob Wives" series and is a childhood friend of Karen Gravano, who also starred on the show and is the daughter of Gambino underboss-turned-informant, Salvatore "Bull" Gravano.

Ironically, on Rizzo’s website, she says, “Don't Judge Me By a Life I was Born into — Judge me by What I Do With It.”

Attempts to reach her and DJ Will were unsuccessful.

The NYPD and prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney's office are trying to sort out the wild Saturday morning events, and determine what, if any, crimes were committed.