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Gambino Associate's Grandson Arrested for Murder in Flushing, Police Say

By Katie Honan | June 21, 2017 9:47am
 Robert Sasso was charged with shooting a childhood friend four times at the Whitestone jetty on Aug. 29 after police arrested him early on the morning of Sept. 9, 2014, officials said. 
Robert Sasso was charged with shooting a childhood friend four times at the Whitestone jetty on Aug. 29 after police arrested him early on the morning of Sept. 9, 2014, officials said. 
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NYPD

FLUSHING — The grandson of a former mob family associate arrested more than a dozen times — including once for attempted murder of a childhood friend — was arrested for fatally shooting a man in the head last summer over a drug deal, police said. 

Robert Sasso, 35, of Astoria, shot and killed Richard Brown on July 27, 2016 during a dispute over a drug sale near 35th Avenue and Farrington Street, police said.

Surveillance video showed Brown and Sasso talking outside a motel in Flushing, according to the complaint. 

As Brown was bent down tying his shoe, Sasso pulled a gun out of his waistband and pointed at his head — firing a single shot, officials said. 

Brown, who lived in Hempstead, was pronounced dead at New York Presbyterian Queens.

Sasso fled the scene on a black motorcycle, police said. He was arrested Tuesday while on Rikers Island for previous arrests including burglary and tampering with a witness, records show.

His father, Robert Sasso Jr., was convicted in 1994 on gun trafficking charges. His grandfather, also named Robert Sasso, resigned from the Teamsters Local 282 in 1992 because of his alleged mob ties.

The younger Sasso was arrested in September 2014 for attempted murder after shooting a childhood friend on a jetty in Whitestone the month before, police said.

He and his friend, Dean Oku, were smoking marijuana at the shore near the Whitestone Bridge at around 2 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2014 when Sasso shot Oku three times — leaving him for dead on the jetty, police said.

But Oku survived and was able to identify Sasso to 911 operators as the shooter, officials said. 

Sasso was arrested and charged with attempted murder along with an assault charge for punching his live-in girlfriend in the face and pushing her out of a parked vehicle two days before the shooting. 

Recently, Sasso was arrested for an Aug. 31, 2016 burglary, and again on Oct. 26, 2016 for criminal contempt and tampering the witness to avoid testifying — which a source said was related to the 2014 attempted murder arrest. 

Police say he entered a NYCHA-owned apartment building in Flushing on Aug. 31 and shot at an apartment door before tossing the gun from the roof, according to the complaint. 

When he was arrested, he threatened to come back and kill officers.

​"I'm coming back to the precinct with an AK-47, you are done," he told ​officers from the 109th Precinct, according to the complaint. "I'm going to flip you with my .233 when I am out."