Police say an investigation into a hit and run car crash on Monday in Central Hamilton has now been taken over by the Major Crime and Intelligence Units.
The change comes as Hamilton police say the crash happened not far from the driveway of reputed mobster Pat Musitano’s home on St. Clair Boulevard between Cumberland Avenue and Delaware Avenue.
A 76-year-old driver of a Buick was transported to hospital with minor injuries after colliding with a Mercedes in the incident.
Police say suspects “were seen fleeing on foot, northbound on St. Clair and then westbound on Delaware” after the crash.
Investigators believe the Buick driver may have been spooked by “an observation,” which caused his car to leave the driveway suddenly “in a dangerous manner,” before colliding head-on with the southbound Mercedes.
Detectives say they are getting little cooperation from the parties involved in the car crash, though, particularly the Buick driver.
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As for the Mercedes, police say a male from Montreal later made a trip to the Central Police Station around 2:40 a.m. to report the crash, identifying himself as the owner of the car.
Investigators initially charged that man with conspiracy to commit murder and failing to remain at the scene after connecting prior investigations involving the Musitano family.
Police say he was “uncooperative” in an interview that lasted hours. He was eventually released unconditionally due to insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges.
Pat Musitano is one of two brothers who were charged with first-degree murder in ordering the death of Hamilton mob boss Johnny “Pops” Papalia in the late 1990s.
Both Pat and Angelo were sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting death of Niagara crime boss Carmen Barillaro.
The hitman for both murders, Kenneth Murdock, took a plea deal and named the Musitanos as the men who ordered the killings.
The Musitano brothers were released from prison in 2007.