2005_12_10_balsamo.jpg Is there about to a mafia blow-up on Staten Island? That seems to be the concern for some law enforcement agencies. Especially now that ex-cop Patcirk Balsamo (left) has gotten out on $5,000 bail after allegedly shooting Top Tomato honcho Carmine Sclandra in the gut Wednesday night (aside: anybody remember when there used to be a Top Tomato in Manhattan on Broadway and Bond? Ah, mob-related memories...)

In case you haven't been following (and to be honest, well, we haven't) here's what we gather from local news reports happened: Wednesday night Balsamo was informed that his 18 year-old daughter had been sexually harassed and then fired while working for Sclandra and his brother at Top Tomato. In a rage Balsamo stormed over to the store with his daughter, his 27 year-old son and two older wise guys in tow. Once there fighting and arguing ensued, bats were swung and windows were broken. Eventually Balsamo allegedly shot Sclandra in the gut and then tried to shoot another employee, only to have his gun jam. At which point the two older men fled leaving the Balsamo clan to deal with the cops themselves. Balsamo was promptly arrested and Sclandra was taken to the hospital (where he has refused to help the police: "Every time a detective enters his hospital room to question him 'he hits the morphine button.'").

Which brings us to yesterday when Balsamo walked free on a $5,000 bail. Here is where the tabloids want you to get worried. In fact, let's just let the News speak for itself:

"There is a great deal of concern that this could spiral into a mob war," one law enforcement source told the Daily News.

"This was a renegade act. No one is supposed to lay a finger on a guy like Carmine Sciandra. The made guys know that. They are appalled that this hothead ex-cop mucked things up the way he did."

So, uh, now we all know, eh?

Photograph by Jeremy Sparig for the Post.