The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Man Threatens to Shoot Councilman Over Demolished Home, Prosecutors Say

By Nicholas Rizzi | April 30, 2015 2:43pm
 A man was arrested after prosecutors said he called Community Board 3 and threatened to shoot Councilman Vincent Ignizio.
A man was arrested after prosecutors said he called Community Board 3 and threatened to shoot Councilman Vincent Ignizio.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

ROSSVILLE — A man was accused of calling up Community Board 3 and threatening to shoot Councilman Vincent Ignizio over a property dispute, prosecutors said.

John DePietro, 67, called up the community board on Monday and told Community Coordinator Stacey Wortheim, who answered the phone, that he was going to shoot Ignizio because of the role he played in demolishing an abandoned home DePietro owned in 2007, prosecutors said.

"Ignizio ruined my life, he demolished my house," DePietro, of Midwood, told the Wortheim, according to court papers.

"I can't develop my property because of him... Ignizio took my home, I'm going to shoot him."

He also left a cellphone number for the board to reach him, according to court papers.

His lawyer, Yan Katsnelson, said DePietro never threatened to shoot Ignizio and instead told the CB over the phone he would sue the council member over the dispute.

"My client adamantly denies that he threatened to shoot or harm anybody," Katsnelson said. "My client is not a violent person and has never been a violent person."

The trouble started in 2007 when Ignizio and then Assemblyman Lou Tobacco requested the city's Department of Housing, Preservation and Development to raze an abandoned building owned by DePietro.

The home, at 527 Page Ave., was located across the street from PS 6, and the destruction came after workers at the school complained to Tobacco and Ignizio about it, the Staten Island Advance reported.

It was abandoned for nearly 10 years and workers found 20 gas cans and nine propane tanks inside when they went to demolish the building, the Advance reported. DePietro was stuck with the bill for the demolition and the open violations on the property, which totaled about $200,000, Katsnelson said.

Katsnelson said DePietro has filed several lawsuits against the city and Ignizio since the destruction, and was merely calling the CB to talk about one of his suits.

DePietro claimed that the property had water runoff from PS 6, which was built in 2000 and he wasn't able to develop the property, according to court papers.

He was arrested on Wednesday and charged with making a terrorist threat and aggravated harassment at his arraignment, the District Attorney's office said. DePietro's bail was set at $1,000 and he's due back in court on May 27, the DA said.