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After a failed attempt to convert his Westchester Square sub shop into a secret strip club led to a suspicious break in at the end of June, Anthony “Cousin Vinny” Agnello’s side job as a striptease business owner put him in the line of fire over the weekend – literally.
Agnello, the Bronx-based owner of World Famous Cousin Vinny’s Gorgeous Strippers from Westchester Square, said he was escorting his dancers to a bachelor party just before 11 p.m. on Friday, August 22, in Sleepy Hollow, NY, when two masked men ran from a side street and began shooting.
While he said the police still aren’t clear if the attack was a murder attempt or robbery, he said he knows one thing for sure, with their black ski masks, “They didn’t look like they were coming to sell me Avon.”
Unfortunately for him, his bodyguard, whose leg is currently locked up in a cast, provided little protection.
“When you’re Cousin Vinny you can’t get a first rate bodyguard,” the unusually calm shooting victim joked.
While he said he’s never been shot at before, Agnello explained it didn’t take long for him to realize he needed to run.
Quickly leaving stripper “Little Vicky” to fend for herself, the self-proclaimed ‘ladies man’ told himself, “Agnello, use those beautiful legs you have,” he recalled of his instinctual response. “I wasn’t sure those 48-year legs had it in them, but I said I’m turning on the jets and not leaving the afterburners running.”
Feeling a sting in his leg, Agnello said he continued running until he reached a local diner.
While one of the bullets when straight through his upper, left thigh, the cops retrieved a second .25 caliber slug from Agnello’s pocket.
“The second one was a million dollar shot,” Agnello said, referring to the bullet that lodged between his insurance card and gym membership. “That one would have hit my femoral artery and it would have killed me.”
Agnello said though the incident happened quickly, he didn’t feel the men wanted to kill him, but rather were out to steal the $100,000 worth of jewelry he claims he was wearing and the approximate $5,000 he says he had stuffed in his jeans.
So far no arrests have been made in the case, as police continue to search for the Bronx businessman’s would-be assailants.
Not fearing for his life, Agnello continues to joke, scoffing at any future attempts on his life, while offering advice to his detractors and his fans. “You can hate me if you want. You can love me if you want,” he said. “Just don’t shoot me.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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