2007_07_sifracas.jpgWe briefly mentioned the wild melee between some Staten Island residents and the cops on July 4th, after the police investigated a call about illegal fireworks. Nineteen people had been arrested, while 10 others received summons, and residents are now complaining that the police were too aggressive. Cops, many of whom were injured, say they were doing their job.

The police do admit "an all-out brawl" occurred around 11PM, after a neighbor called to complain about fireworks being set off in the street. The police visited the home at 23 Fillmore three times, and on the third visit, with fireworks still going off, they tried to arrest the men setting them off. The police claim that 50-some people tried to block them from going in and started to assault them.

Nineteen-year-old Gabriele Scianna told the Daily News, "[The police] came in like animals. They were just coming in beating people with nightsticks." The Staten Island Advance has another account:

Inspector Richard Bruno, the commanding officer of the North Shore's 120th Precinct, tried to approach the alleged ringleader of the fracas, 50-year-old Gabriel Scianna, who lives at 23 Fillmore, cops said.

But Scianna slammed his front door on Bruno's leg, cutting his knee, and a few seconds later, according to police, several partygoers held up their fists and assumed fighting stances.

"Mr. Scianna had turned his block into a circa-1980s Howard Beach-type of environment. And our message is that, on the Fourth of July, that type of conduct will not be tolerated," Bruno said. He also suffered glass cuts of his elbow.

"Howard Beach" was a pointed reference to the fireworks spectaculars that Godfather John Gotti staged most years in Queens.

In 1991, federal authorities arrested Scianna, who lived in Brooklyn at the time, accusing him of being a member of a Colombo crime family death squad, Advance records show. Scianna pleaded guilty to a gun charge in 1992.

Oh, boy. One woman with Down Syndome who admitted to Newsday that she jumped a cop, said she was maced, handcuffed, and bruised by a cop, "They threw me on the floor and handcuffed me from behind -- and I was really upset." A police officer, though, said, "It was a donnybrook. They were all drunk."