JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Sunday were investigating the suspicious death of a man known and loved by many in his Jersey City neighborhood.
The man’s body was found at a park across the street from where he lived. Neighbors on Manhattan Avenue tell CBS2’s Lisa Rozner the 77-year-old victim was named Tony Bello.
Known by many as Coach B after coaching and being involved with the local little league at Pershing Field Park, Bello was also a teacher at St. Nicholas Church.
Neighbors say they heard an ambulance and police sirens outside around 7:30 am. They came outside to find a crime scene in the park, where Bello’s body was reportedly found on one of the benches.
Sources tell CBS2 Bello’s death is being probed as a fatal stabbing. Neighbors say it was a daily morning routine for him to walk in the park, grab a coffee, read a paper, and smoke a cigarette.
Described as a friendly man who always went out of his way to mentor local youths, people who knew Bello say the can’t understand why anyone would want to harm him.
“He was always so friendly to everyone with us and the woman who used to live there,” Jersey City resident Mariah DeBenedetto said. He always sat out he never bothered anybody. I don’t understand.”
“I feel so bad for his wife and his sons and his daughter, his grandsons he loved them and we loved Mr. Bello,” neighbor Jorainey Quinton said. “It’s heartbreaking, it’s so sad.”
Bello’s family told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner they were too distraught to discuss Tony’s death, which remains under investigation by the Homicide Unit of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.