Last Friday night, it was supposed to be a celebration of life, of starting a life together, but that dream was shattered around 2am Saturday when a man fatally stabbed 27-year-old Anthony Lacertosa outside of Espana restaurant in the Annadale section of Staten Island.
Lacertosa had popped the question to his high-school sweetheart Bridgette in December, and Friday night they were celebrating with friends and family at a catering hall. They continued the celebration into the early morning at Espana, when a fight broke out outside. Lacertosa apparently went to see what was going on. Neighbor John Perrotta was there, “I’m not in there 2 minutes next thing I hear a girl Anthony your brothers having a fight outside.”
Somewhere in the middle of this fight, a man reportedly believed to be an employee of this restaurant went back inside and allegedly got a butcher-type knife, and fatally stabbed Lacertosa. Perotta saw him, “He was bleeding very bad. He died from his wounds.”
Lacertosa came from a big Staten Island family, it was unthinkable to his older brother Joseph to talk about Anthony’s death, so we asked him to talk about his life. I asked him to pick one word to describe his brother. “Vibrant. Enthusiastic, enthusiastic would be the word. He was enthusiastic about every single thing that he did. He put his heart and soul into every little task in life that he did.”
A lot has been written about the circumstances surrounding the fight, and it’s puzzling to many that police can’t find the killer, since he apparently worked at the restaurant. I know I’ll never forget the victim’s brother, Joseph Lacertosa’s raw emotion when talking about his brother. My heart goes out to this family.
Police are still investigating. There haven’t been any arrests.