Man charged for dumping Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr’s body out of stolen car

‘That dude was dead already:’ Man arrested for tossing body of Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr out of stolen car in NYC said he ‘didn’t know the guy’ and has been RELEASED – despite facing nine charge

  • Frank Vallelonga Jr.’s dead body was dumped from a car in the Bronx on Monday
  • Stephen Smith, 35, was arrested on Tuesday and is now facing nine charges – but police do not believe he was involved with his death 
  • Police said evidence suggests Vallelonga Jr.’s death was a drug overdose and that Smith was driving a stolen vehicle
  • Vallelonga Jr. is the son of Frank Vallelonga Sr. – commonly known as Tony Lip
  • His father was a bodyguard who accompanied pianist Don Shirley in the South
  • That story was turned into an Oscar-winning film Green Book

The man arrested for tossing Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr’s body out of a stolen vehicle onto a Bronx street told police ‘he didn’t know the guy’ and has been released from jail despite facing nine charges, the DailyMail.com can now reveal.

Stephen Smith, 35, was arrested by police around 9:40am in front of Food Center Drive in the Bronx on Tuesday, a day after Vallelonga’s body was discovered. 

Though Smith was not charged in Vallelonga Jr’s death he was riding a stolen vehicle – a gray 2021 Hyundai Elantra- with New Jersey license plates, when he dumped the actor’s dead corpse along Oak Point Avenue in the Bronx at approximately 1:15am on Monday.

Smith now faces charges stemming from grand larceny, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle. His next court date at Bronx Criminal Court is January 11, 2023. He is currently on supervised release. 

The criminal complaint obtained by DailyMail.com said Smith ‘walked to the passenger’s side of the vehicle and pulled a human corpse out of the passengers seat and dropped the body onto the sidewalk.’

He then went back to the driver’s side and drove away ‘leaving the human corpse on the sidewalk.’   

‘That dude was already dead. He overdose. I didn’t have anything to do with that. Pam came up to me and said someone overdosed in the car. I went to the car and drove off. I can’t remember which way,’ Smith told police as per the complaint.

‘I went to Barrett where I dropped the body. I got the body out by pulling him out of the car on the floor. I don’t know the guy at all.’

The body of Frank Vallelonga Jr. was found on a street in New York City on Monday morning at around 4am, having been dumped from a car

The body of Frank Vallelonga Jr. was found on a street in New York City on Monday morning at around 4am, having been dumped from a car

The complaint said that the deceased actor’s family member Nicholas Vallelonga was the owner of the Hyundai Elantra, and did not give permission or authority for him to take, drive or ride in it.

Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. was identified as the person whose body was found dumped on a New York City street on Thursday after having likely died from a drug overdose.

The 60-year-old actor’s corpse was discovered just before 4am on Monday after somebody called 911 saying they had found a body outside of a sheet-metal manufacturing factory at 1243 Oak Point Avenue, police said.  

Police arrested suspect Steven Smith, 35, a day later for dumping his body – but they do not believe he was involved in his death.

Smith was allegedly caught on surveillance video dumping Vallelonga Jr.’s body from the car. A police spokesperson said that Smith confessed while they were interviewing him for his involvement in another case. 

Vallelonga Jr. (right) is pictured with his brother Nick Vallelonga (center), who wrote Oscar-winning film Green Book. Their father was Frank Vallelonga Sr. (left). They are pictured here in 2008

Vallelonga Jr. (right) is pictured with his brother Nick Vallelonga (center), who wrote Oscar-winning film Green Book. Their father was Frank Vallelonga Sr. (left). They are pictured here in 2008

Vallelonga Jr. was the son of Frank Vallelonga Sr. – more famously known as Tony Lip – who accompanied Black pianist Don Shirley as a bodyguard during a tour of the deep South in the early 1960s.

That story was turned into the Oscar-winning film Green Book. Vallelonga Jr. starred in the film, playing the role of his uncle Rudy Vallelonga.

After working as a body guard his father Vallelonga Sr. moved into acting and appeared most famously in The Sopranos – in which he played Carmine Lupertazzi.

It is unknown how Vallelonga Jr. died but police told the New York Post that evidence suggests a drug overdose and his body shows no obvious signs of trauma.

He was discovered outside Hunts Point sheet-metal manufacturing factory in the Bronx

He was discovered outside Hunts Point sheet-metal manufacturing factory in the Bronx

Nick Vallelonga (right) wrote the film Green Book about his father Vallelonga Sr. (left) who accompanied Black pianist Don Shirley on a tour of the South

Nick Vallelonga (right) wrote the film Green Book about his father Vallelonga Sr. (left) who accompanied Black pianist Don Shirley on a tour of the South

Prior to his death, it has been said that Vallelonga Jr. had been working with his younger brother and filmmaker Nick Vallelonga, who was the writer of Green Book.

The pair had been collaborating to produce a film called That’s Amore. 

Vallelonga Jr. had a number of smaller roles in various other productions including an episode of The Sopranos.

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