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Alleged Mobster Wounded in Attack at Philadelphia Restaurant

March 3, 1993

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Three masked men shot the alleged underboss of the Philadelphia mob five times at close range but failed to kill him Tuesday as a violent struggle continued within the organized crime family, authorities said.

A waitress watched as the three went to the rear of an otherwise empty diner in a desolate section of South Philadelphia and shot Joseph F. Ciancaglini three times in the head, once in the shoulder and once in the foot Tuesday morning, police said.

Ciancaglini, 36, was in very critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, spokeswoman Harriet Levy said.

″There was blood all over the place,″ chief of detectives Richard A. Zappile said. ″I don’t know how the guy lived.″

Ciancaglini, of Cherry Hill, N.J., became second in command to Philadelphia-south New Jersey mob boss John Stanfa in the past six months, state officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey said.

His shooting was the latest in at least six mob attacks in the past 15 months as the Sicilian-born Stanfa struggles with internal factions and jealous holdovers from Nicodemo ″Little Nicky″ Scarfo’s reign, according to officials of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission and New Jersey State Police.

Ciancaglini reputedly comes from a longtime mob family, with authorities saying his brother, Michael, is a mob associate. Michael Ciancaglini’s house was hit with five shotgun blasts in March 1992, but no one was hurt.

The brothers’ father, Joseph A. ″Chickie″ Ciancaglini, is serving a 45- year sentence for murder, extortion and drug trafficking, and authorities say he was a Scarfo family captain.

But Joseph Ciancaglini is a young, relatively new member of the mob, said Col. Justin Dintino, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

″Maybe there’s jealousy with someone, something personal with someone,″ he said of Tuesday’s attack.

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