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Final Farewell For Slain Staten Island Groom-To-Be

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Funeral for Anthony Lacertosa on Thursday, March 22, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

Funeral for Anthony Lacertosa on Thursday, March 22, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Staten Island groom-to-be who was stabbed to death while out with friends celebrating his engagement will be laid to rest.

The Lacertosa family stood silently outside St. Thomas the Apostle Church as the casket holding Anthony Lacertosa was carried inside.

The 27-year-old, described as ambitious and the rock of the family, died early Saturday morning after authorities say he was killed when a brawl erupted outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale.

Police say 35-year-old Redinel Dervishaj, an employee at the restaurant, allegedly pulled a butcher knife and plunged it into Lacertosa’s torso. Authorities say he is also believed to be tied to the Albanian mob.

Family members say Lacertosa’s half-brother and fiancée, Bridgette Schneider, tried to save his life by performing CPR, but it was too late.

anthony lacertosa and bridgette schneider1 Final Farewell For Slain Staten Island Groom To Be

Anthony Lacertosa and Bridgette Schneider (credit: CBS 2)

Dervishaj was arrested Tuesday in Illinois after law enforcement officials received a tip that he was hiding out at his aunt’s home outside Chicago.

“I am eternally grateful for the police department for having caught this man and making today just a little more bearable,” said Lacertosa’s mother, Linda Lacertosa.

Dervishaj waived extradition earlier this week and could be returned to New York as early as Thursday. Many family members say they will be in court when Dervishaj is arraigned.

“We will never get him back. Regardless of what happens with the investigation and everything, we will never get him back,” said Lacertosa’s brother-in-law Jamie Caruvana.

Dervishaj served more than three years in prison for a 2007 shootout in Queens with two other Albanian figures.

Lacertosa will be buried at Oceanview Cemetery on Staten Island. He was due to marry his fiancée in November.

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