“I don’t need to clear my name,” the Staten Island man accused of gunning down Gambino boss Frank Cali told the Daily News in a brief jailhouse interview on Wednesday,
Anthony Comello, 24, who once tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Mayor de Blasio, wore a green-and-white striped jumpsuit as four officers escorted him to a video phone screen at the Ocean County Jail. He is accused of pumping a barrage of bullets into Cali’s chest in the driveway of the mob boss’ Staten Island home last Wednesday.
Before any questions could be asked of Comello, he blurted out, “You shouldn’t believe in stories. Don’t believe in fairy tales."
When asked if that meant he didn’t do the shooting, Comello responded, “I don’t need to clear my name. Have a good night. Be careful going home.”
He stared at the screen for about 20 seconds, saying nothing, then picked up the phone and said, "I can’t talk to no press. I can’t.”
He hung up, and the video call screen went black.
Related: Vintage crime photos from the Daily News
Vintage crime photos from the Daily News
Vintage crime photos from the Daily News
UNITED STATES - MARCH 03: Confessed Slayer Enraged. William Patrick Farrell screams as he lunges toward fotog taking his picture in van outside Police Headquarters. Police say that Farrell, 25, father of two, reenacted for them the slaying of NYU coed Ann Yarrow last month. Farrell, a patient at Bellevue Hosipital twice before, was ordered to Bellevue again. (Photo by Al Amy/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 25: Leon Liss, Barney Mortillaro, Milton (Shuffles) Goldberg, Louis Liss, Pasquale Chicarelli and gang leader Richard Reese Whittemore (l. to r.) in a police lineup, after they were implicated in a gem holdup on W. 48th St. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 09: Theodore A. Clement in the back of a police paddy wagon after allegedly shooting a man during a poker game. (Photo by Al Amy/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 20: Isadore Strauss in jail cell at police headquarters after his arrest for murder and robbery in connection with Whittemore gang job. (Photo by Paul Levine/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 04: Abe (Kid Twist) Reles (center) in a police mug shot. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Liquor store owner Abraham Weissman views the body of stickupman, Otis Mims, whom he shot during an attempted robbery. (Photo by Gary Kagan/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: Mass murderer Harry F. Powers, the Butcher of Clarksburg, tells a detective about the details of his grisly murders in Clarksburg, W.Va. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 19: Nela Bogacki, alias Nella Bogart, madam of the 'Continental call girl ring,' handcuffed to Salema Hontover after being seized by the F.B.I. Both are to be deported for illegal entry. (Photo by Al Amy/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 25: The body of Albert Anastasia - who ran Murder, Inc., a gang of hired killers for organized crime, in the late 1930s - lies on the barbershop floor at the Park Sheraton Hotel, Seventh Avenue and West 55th Street, soon after his murder by two gunmen at 10:20 A.M. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 20: A manacled LeRoy Luscomb is charged with first degree murder in the killing of his wife with a deer rifle. His wife is on the bed in the rear of the photo., (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) When John Kerr, of 147 W. 84th Street, and Peter Macon, 490 Columbus Avenue, were being booked on a mugging charge at the West 68th St. Precinct today, photographer Phil Grietzer, New York Daily News photographer, drew a bead on the proceedings with his camera. He didn't know the boys had a camera allergy. But he found out when the two, although handcuffed together, came charging at him. Another photographer who doesn't suffer from buck fever, got this picture.
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 16: Driver and bodyguard Thomas Bilotti lies on the street next to car after he and crime boss Paul Castellano were shot to death outside East Side steakhouse. (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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Police sources said the alleged killer may have been angry that the 53-year-old Cali had tried to prevent Comello from dating his niece.
Comello waved to reporters at a court appearance in New Jersey on Monday, showing off political slogans scribbled on his hands -- “United We Stand,” “MAGA Forever,” “Patriots in Charge” and a large, blue “Q.” That’s the symbol of the far-right conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon, which believes that President Trump is fighting a secret war against the deep state and a pedophile ring that includes several prominent Democrat politicians.
In February, he showed up at the federal courthouse in Manhattan, then at Gracie Mansion the next day, asking to make a citizens’ arrest of several elected officials and the mayor, police said.