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Another Tragedy Strikes Grimaldi's

Restaurant's manager struck and killed early Sunday morning in hit and run.

Dean LaLima, long time manager of Grimaldi's Pizza, was killed early Sunday morning in Williston Park in an incident county police are describing as a hit and run. He was 41.

LaLima, of Albertson, was found lying in the street at about 4:10 a.m. at the intersection of Syracuse Street and Broad Street in Williston Park after being struck by an unknown vehicle traveling northbound on Broad Street. He was pronounced deceased by a Nassau County Ambulance Advanced Medical Technician at 4:20 a.m.

This is the second tragedy in less than a year the Grimaldi's business community has had to endure. The popular pizzeria's owner, Russell Ciolli, died unexpectedly in November 2011. He was 39.

Garden City village trustee Brian Daughney told Patch his family is deeply saddened by LaLima's tragic death.

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"Dean and his folks at Grimaldi's have always been more than kind to my two small children. My kids always say 'we want to go to Dean's for pizza' and that is exactly what we did on Sunday afternoon, which is when we learned of his death. My wife, Jackie, and I are not sure how to tell them that Dean is gone," Daughney said.

"Dean was also very accommodating and welcoming to those of us in the village who needed a space for group events," he added. "Just a month ago the four property owners' association groups held our summer gathering there and on Saturday Dean hosted a group of us celebrating an award for Jerie Newman."

Nassau County Homicide squad detectives request anyone with information regarding the above crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.

Visiting is Wednesday 7-9 p.m. and Thursday 2-5 and 7-9 p.m., Cassidy Funeral Home, 156 Willis Ave., Mineola. Funeral Mass to be held Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Aidan's Church. Entombment to follow at Holy Rood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to North Shore Animal League are appreciated.

michael bernot August 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Dean was a great guy, and a great friend. we met at an establishment that he used to waiter at, and we became good friends. we would stay in contact and go out and see eachother over the years, and to wake up and read this obituary made me feel completely sick to my stomach. awful news. terrible. our thoughts are with all of your family and friends. may your soul rest in peace. another good person taken from this world way too soon!! -Michael and Randye Bernot
Seven Costanza August 13, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Dean-O Good friend will never be forgotten You put a smile on alot of faces....
LI Lawyer August 14, 2012 at 06:34 AM
So sad. Dean was a wonderful host. He treated everyone with respect and courtesy. May God bless.
Butch Pope August 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I ate at Grimaldi's every Tuesday evening. I did not know Dean very long but he impressed me immediately as a warm and wonderful person. Always a big smile and a hug. When I heard about his tragic passing I felt like crying. I heard he was robbed after he was knocked down by the car. I do hope the police get to the bottom of his early untimely demise. Dean will be sorely missed in the community. I know I miss him already on this Tues. evening. God bless your soul my friend. Butch Pope Private Investigator Mineola, New York
Joseph Nash August 15, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Dean, I know you from a very different situation that most people... The first day i met you, you showed compassion and love too me and i will never forget that! You were are positive influence on anyone that ever got to know you... You were truly a positive influence on everyone around you! I will miss you and i pray for you and your family! It should not have been your time, but that LORD works in mysterious ways and we have to trust him... I love you my friend and i pray and hope that best for you family! God Bless... and may HE have mercy on you!
Matthew Hogan August 15, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Folks, An arrest has been made in connection with the accident. Read the story here: http://patch.com/A-wWDt -- Matthew Hogan Associate Regional Editor
Barbara Barbera August 15, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Dean was a star - a wonderful, warm, kind, caring human being who was always there to lend a hand and help out in a pinch. His sincerity and sweetness made the community a much better place. Dino, we miss you dearly. Barbara Barbera
Judy Depp August 15, 2012 at 10:30 PM
We are greatly saddened to hear this tragic news of the passing of Dean,This is a loss to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.Dean was a true gentleman to all,a very kind and caring man.We always came and sat outside with our pet, Dean always made sure he had plenty of water and was kept cool. We will miss his great big smile. Our prayers and thoughts go out to LaLima Family and to the entire Staff and and Grimaldi family.Judy and Wesley Depp
Laura Ryan August 16, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Dean was a kind gentleman and business man who always helped plan many a pasta party at Grimaidi for many GC teams. Dean always took an interest in how their season(s) were going. Dean provided much joy to all of us who came in contact with him. A welcomed smile and kiss. Always wanted others to be happy. With our deepest sympathy, Laura, Ken and Kimberly Ryan

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