Staten Island restaurant owner murdered

July 30, 2008 3:44:35 PM PDT
The 66-year-old owner of a waterfront restaurant in the Tottenville section of Staten Island was fatally shot in what appears to be a targeted hit. Police say Frank Fresca Sr. was shot nine times, at least once in the head, at Fresca's on the Bay at 225 Ellis Street just before 12:30 a.m., near a trailer in which it is believed he was living. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fresca was reportedly found on his restaurant property by employees who heard the gunshots, but did not see the gunman. The restaurant and bar was closed at the time.

Authorities searched the South Shore area for suspects. They believe the victim was targeted. No arrests were immediately made.

Fresca opened his restaurant in 2002, next to a marina, which he owns. He built up the business, which serves traditional Italian and seafood. Officials say Fresca was well-known, but also had a troubled past.

Fresca was going through a divorce at the time of his murder. He was also involved in an assault at his own restaurant in 2005, in which he was beaten and shot at by four men. Fresca was reportedly having an affair with the estranged wife of one of the men involved.

The charges in that case were dropped after authorities say Fresca refused to cooperate. Police are investigating, but do not believe the murder was related to that incident.

Detectives found a weapon not far from the murder scene, but they say it is not the gun used in the shooting.

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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