Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. — Scott Munro, President

The DEA Honor Roll

Official Line of Duty Deaths

Anthony J. Venditti

Rank: Detective

Shield Number: 679

Command: OCCB Joint Organized Crime Task Force

Date of Death: 01/21/1986

Cause of Death: Shot during a mob surveillance operation

Anthony J. Venditti grew up in the East Bronx and graduated Mt. Saint Michael Academy. He joined the NYPD in 1972, and was promoted to Detective on May 4, 1984.

On January 21, 1986, Det. Venditti and his partner were tracking and conducting surveillance on a reputed member of the Genovese crime family, Federico Giovanelli, suspected of running a gambling and loan-sharking organization on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

Det. Venditti and his partner were in an unmarked Lincoln Town car when they saw Giovanelli, alone in a BMW near his criminal headquarters. Suspecting that their car was spotted, the Detectives stopped at a diner at Myrtle and St. Nicholas Avenues in Queens for some coffee.

On the street, they were suddenly surrounded by three men who pushed Venditti against a wall. His partner exited her vehicle and drew her weapon, but she was shot in the chest. The subject then shot Det. Venditti. His partner survived, but Venditti did not. The event took the NYPD by surprise as for decades the unspoken rule in organized crime was for mobsters to avoid killing police, let alone so brazenly.

Det. Venditti was 34 years old. He specialized in handling Mafia cases and was known as a seasoned Undercover. He was assigned to the Organized Crime Control Bureau’s Joint Organized Crime Task Force, a joint Unit between the NYPD and the FBI. His previous commands included the 48 Precinct.

During his career, Det. Venditti had received a commendation, a Meritorious Police Duty medal, and 15 Excellent Police Duty awards.

Three perpetrators were seen running from the scene of the shooting. While they were eventually convicted of federal racketeering charges, they were tried, but acquitted of murder charges. Thus, to this day the murder of Det. Venditti remains open and with the Cold Case Squad.

Det. Venditti was survived by his mother, his wife and their four children.

Among the many honors and awards posthumously instituted in his memory, including an annual Columbia Association Motorcycle Run, on October 16, 2011, the small patch of land near the spot where Det. Venditti was gunned down was rededicated by The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District as The Det. Anthony J. Venditti Square.

In 2014, the Anthony Venditti Computer Room was dedicated at Mount Saint Michael Academy.

Said his mother Anna, “In June of 1986, Congressman Mario Biaggi sent a letter to Police Commissioner Ben Ward suggesting that a boat be named after Anthony, because he was such an avid fisherman and boater and loved the water. Anthony and his colleague Louis Cucurruto partnered in an old boat, kept it in our backyard, and took it out to City Island every spare minute they could muster. They named it ‘The Odd Couple,’ because that’s what they were.” On July 15, 2016, the NYPD Harbor Unit christened Harbor Launch #454 the Det. Anthony J. Venditti.

On June 7, 2018, an NYPD Mounted Unit horse was named in honor of Det. Venditti.

On May 23, 2023, Det. Venditti’s beloved mother Anna, who never ceased hoping for a resolution to his case, passed away at the age of 94.

Click on the following pdf link below to read “The Cop Out” from New York magazine, December 1, 1994.

The Cop Out NY Magazine 1994

Click on the following pdf link below to read “Recalling a Detective’s Ultimate Sacrifice” from the Times Newsweekly, October 20, 2011.

Recalling a Detective’s Sacrifice 2011

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