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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Elderly Queens man struck and killed by Bonanno associate

An 88-year-old man who was mowed down around the corner from his Queens home by a rogue tow truck driver with connections to the Bonanno crime family has died three weeks after the accident, police said Tuesday.

Chung Lun Shao was crossing Dry Harbor Road and 84th St. in Middle Village just before 5 a.m. on July 29 when he was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado being driven by Long Island resident Filippo Bonura, cops said.

EMS rushed the victim to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he appeared to be on the mend, police said. But the senior took a turn for the worse Sunday and died from the injuries he sustained in the crash, according to cops.

Bonura was a former longshoreman until his registration was revoked in 2017 by the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor after an administrative judge found that he consorted with three high-ranking members of the ruthless organized crime family.

As a teenager, Bonura worked at a deli owned by Giacomo “Jack” Bonventre, an acting Bonanno capo. He also worked as a tow truck driver for Bonventre, the judge found. Bonura palled around with Ronald “Ronnie G” Giallanzo, another Bonanno capo and convicted racketeer. He was also chummy with Sandro “Santo” Aiosa, a Bonanno soldier, according to the judge.

The Waterfront Commission administrative trial uncovered other unsavory facts about him.

“Bonura’s previous addiction to drugs and problems with gambling, and ... Bonventre’s conviction for gambling and extortion and his association with Aiosa, who also had gambling convictions, put Bonura ‘at a risk for corruption if he should ever lose so much gambling that he needs money,’” according to the commission.

Bonura told police that Shao, who immigrated from China in the 1960s and rose to be the head chef at Shun Lee West, had stepped out from two parked cars when his Silverado slammed into him.

Shao’s only daughter, however, provided video to the Daily News that tells a different story.

The footage shows the old man clearly visible in the roadway for several seconds when the driver struck him.

“It’s completely the driver’s fault. He basically killed my father. Even everyone in this building, they expected to see my father for another 20 years,” Alice Shao, 48, told The News.

“He had no serious issues. he took care of himself pretty well. He was still able to do a lot of things that most people couldn’t at that age,” she added.

Neither Bonura nor his lawyer could immediately be reached for comment.

“After the crash, I was upset and a little angry, because I didn’t know how that could have happened,” Alice Shao said. “Then as more details came and I saw the footage, I realized the driver lied, and even his demeanor after hitting him — throwing his hands up in the air — it was as if it was an inconvenience to him.”

She said her dad, who was a light sleeper, frequently took walks around the neighborhood at that time.

The elderly father suffered numerous injuries in the collision, including a punctured left lung, contusions, broken ribs on both sides, a fractured left pelvis and a shattered right pelvis, his daughter said.

She said that her father fought hard to recover, but last week the doctors offered a choice to take him off the breathing tube with the chance that he would die — or leave it in for the rest of his life.

“His quality of life would have been nothing. He would have still been hooked up to a machine. He liked moving around. He kept himself busy and was in pretty good shape. That would have been hard for him, to be hooked up,” she said.

When the tube was removed, she coached her father to breathe.

“He responded when I was calling to him,” she said. “I told him you have to breathe, and he did, he really tried.”

Ultimately, he could not survive on his own.

“It was hard. Honestly, I wanted to give him a chance, even if it’s a slim chance, but you have to remember their wishes. It’s not what he wanted. He wouldn’t have been happy living like that. I didn’t want him to be in pain, I didn’t want him to be in discomfort. I didn’t want him to be unhappy. It was the only choice I could have made given the circumstances,” she said.

Bonura, 48, remained at the scene and was charged with driving without a valid license.

This was not his only scrape with the law.

In August 2019, he was operating an unlicensed tow truck when he was arrested for possessing burglar tools. A police officer found him at the scene of a car accident trying to solicit the driver for a tow, and he had a police scanner in his truck in what may have been an effort to circumvent the city’s Directed Accident Response Program that allocates tows to licensed companies.

It’s unclear what the tools were.

After he struck Shao, Bonura was released without bail during a brief arraignment proceeding at Queens Criminal Court the next day.

He’s due back in court to answer the charges on Oct. 31, prosecutors said.



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