Man decapitated by NY transportation dept. truck identified as mobster ‘Tony Cakes’

An elderly man who was the victim of a horrific accident when he was decapitated by a truck last week has been identified as something of a notorious figure.

Anthony Conigliaro aka “Tony Cakes” once plied his trade as a capo for the Genovese crime family, the oldest and largest of New York’s “Five Families” that controlled organized crime in Gotham, according to law enforcement sources.

Conigliaro, 86, was killed by a New York City Department of Transportation truck in Brooklyn last Wednesday at around 3:30 p.m. when crossing Dahlgren Place on a crosswalk with a “don’t walk” sign when he was struck by the yellow Ford F550 truck that was turning on a green light.

(Video: YouTube/CBS New York)

The aftermath of the gruesome accident that ended the life of “Tony Cakes” was shown in stomach-churning video footage that showed the ex-mobster’s bloody head lying on the street yards away from his body.

“Oh my God, this is a bad day,” a woman is heard saying in the graphic footage.

“He spent his life looking over his shoulder but he forgot to look both ways before crossing the street,” one unnamed police source is quoted by the New York Post.

Bay Ridge resident Samia Haq told News 12 that the intersection was known to be dangerous.

“Especially the walk sign. It turns on but by the time you’re in the middle of the road, then it’s gone. Somebody who is disabled or somebody who cannot walk fast- it’s really really dangerous for them,” Haq said.

“I can tell you it’s a dangerous intersection,” said Sean McMahon, another Bay Ridge resident. “Everybody is always trying to jump the lights to make the turn to get onto the expressway.”

The octogenarian former gangster lived a quiet life in an apartment not far from the fatal accident. “We miss him. Everybody misses him,” one neighbor said of the man, telling the outlet that he “always looked out for others.”

But few of the neighbors were likely aware of Conigliaro’s past.

“Brooklyn federal prosecutors in 2005 accused Conigliaro — who toiled for years in the wholesale cake business, selling sweets across the New York City area and running an Italian ice and gelato stand in Little Italy, according to court documents — of being a soldier in the Genovese crime family,” the New York Post reported. “Conigliaro worked as a loan shark for the Genovese, the feds said in a four-count indictment.”

He would receive a 13-month prison sentence after copping to a racketeering conspiracy charge. He was also arrested for criminal usury in 1999 and grand larceny in 2006, sources told the Post.

After Conigliaro’s release, he got into the wholesale cake business, being dubbed “Tony the Dessert Man” and “Tony Cheesecake.”

“Later on in life he became known as Tony the Dessert Man,” said longtime mob lawyer Mathew Mari who counted “Tony Cakes” as a friend and client. “He was a kind gentle soft spoken very quiet guy. Always trying to help people.”

“Now we know why that DOT guy was crying… he’s probably asking for witness protection,” one source is quoted by the New York Post of the truck’s driver who was emotionally distraught after the accident.

Chris Donaldson

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