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.