BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — Sylvester Zottola was less than four months away from meeting a violent death when he called police to his property on Hobart Avenue in the Bronx on June 12, 2018. He had just fired his gun at a man wearing a hoodie.
“I was walking up 194 Street,” Zottola said. “I always turn around. I see a Black guy with a hood on. He almost kind of looked like the guy that tried to shoot me in Locust Point.”
Sylvester Zottola had already confronted a masked man who pointed a gun at him in November 2017, before three men invaded his home in December that year, stabbing him multiple times, slashing his throat, and hitting him on the head with a gun. He survived those attacks.
When he spoke to police on that morning of June 12, 2018 — after yet another scare — his son, Anthony, was checking his cell phone.
Anthony Zottola asked the police, “Can he go inside, is that OK?” The uniformed cops told the son his father could not go inside.
Anthony Zottola is now on trial in federal court, accused of repeatedly setting his father and younger brother up for death, by hiring members of the Bloods gang to go after them.
Sylvester Zottola noted that the June 12, 2018, menacing happened, “one minute after I spoke to Anthony.”
Anthony Zottola was wearing a black polo shirt in the 2018 video played in federal court, with the words A & S Maintenance embroidered on the front. A is for Anthony and S is for Salvatore, the younger brother who survived multiple gunshot wounds on July 11, 2018.
Prosecutors have made use of scores of videos to show a timeline of the various attacks and how they were carried out.
Multiple cars were used to pin in Sylvester Zottola’s Acura on Oct. 4, 2018, when he went to a McDonald’s drive-thru for coffee and ended up fatally shot.
Himen Ross, a reputed Bloods member, was arrested by the FBI on Dec. 18, 2018 — two months after the McDonald’s shooting — and identified some fellow Bloods in photographs. But he denied involvement in the Oct. 4 execution.
The FBI agent said, “We’re giving you an opportunity to kind of explain what happened that day.”
Himen Ross responded sarcastically, “An opportunity? An opportunity to explain what?”
Ross denied taking part in the McDonald’s shooting.
Prosecutors also played a video of FBI agents talking to Anthony Zottola, when he was arrested right after Father’s Day on June 17, 2019.
“I had a feeling you were coming,” Anthony Zottola said. “When, I don’t know. It was after Father’s Day and after all my kids’ birthdays. Whatever it is.”
Zottola also said he took opioids to deal with back pain.
“I usually take those Percocet pills if I can get my hands on them, if the pain gets too severe,” Anthony Zottola said. “That’s what’s in my house.”
The feds also confirmed Zottola’s cell phone number, which has been featured prominently in the murder conspiracy trial, as prosecutors try to prove he exchanged dozens of texts with a Bloods leader, Bushawn Shelton.