NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hours after lighting the cake with his fiance at their engagement party Friday night on Staten Island, 27-year-old Anthony Lacertosa was killed.

“He was the happiest at this moment in his life, ready to start his own life, start his own family,” said Joseph Lacertosa, the victim’s brother.

“We’ll never get him back. It’s just a stupid, senseless thing,” he told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

Police say Lacertosa was stabbed outside the Espana restaurant in Annadale around 2 a.m. Saturday after a night of engagement celebrations there and at another restaurant.

Witnesses say it started with a dispute, but police won’t confirm accounts that it was a restaurant employee who pulled the knife.

“What I’m told is everything died down already and my brother was on his way out the front. And this other man who went back to the kitchen to get a knife saw my brother. I don’t know. I guess he saw my brother and thought he was a part of it, and he killed my brother,” Joseph said.

Family members say Lacertosa’s half brother and fiance, Bridgette Schneider, tried to save his life by performing CPR.

The two were high school sweethearts, and Schneider was too devastated Sunday to talk about that night.

“He was always smiling, always happy, always there. He was always the first one to throw himself in front of anything, and that’s it,” Joseph said.

The victim worked in construction and loved the water. His boat now sits idle in front of the family home.

Lacertosa leaves behind seven siblings, and the love of his life, who are now planning a funeral instead of a wedding.

Long time neighbor Nasser Selami said he never knew Lacertosa to get in to arguments.

“He was a good kid. Never caused any trouble. Always kept to himself, never into any trouble in the neighborhood,” he said.

Police interviewed several restaurant workers and took footage from a security camera installed on the pharmacy next door.

“My heart goes out to that kid’s family. It’s a horrible thing that happened,” witness John Perrotta told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

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Comments (13)
  1. rocky camaj says:

    Bronx Albanian said it best. What does the Albanian Mob have to do with this killing nothing. But every article written about this the Albanian mob is mentioned. Why. Its a messed up situation and I feel for the guy and his family but cameras show 12 guys surrounding this guy and the owner before being knocked to the ground. The owner even pulled and gun at these guys and wanted to shot them but his gun jammed reports say. Is he in the Spanish mob. Even the guys brother says its a stupid senseless thing and it was. These guys were drunk and started a stupid fight which ended with murder. A lot of Staten Island Italians are a bunch of wanna be tough guys especially when there 20 of them together drunk.

    1. The Greek says:

      YOU are “ABSOOOLUTELY RITE BRO I AGREE WITH YOU 100%,im a Greek and I also posted a blog on the site. The Albanian acted on “SELF DEFENSE” and I hope “ALL CHARGES GET DROPPED”

  2. BronxAlbanian says:

    My Heart Goes out to the family …. I just don’t understand how a fight whether it be in a bar or restaurant made it a Albanian Mob Thing…… as an U.S. Born Albanian i am deeply Saddened by the news always making us out to be the Ruthless killers!

  3. Rocker80 says:

    If anyone is to blame here its the victims entourage. Two of them were thrown out of the restuarant and then urinated on the side of building which instigated the stabbing.

    Apparently one of the perople causing the rucus is a a Port Authority cop.

    Very sad

    1. JohnW9540 says:

      And you know this HOW?

      1. Rocker80 says:

        it was in the media

        1. Sickofstupidity says:

          And unless they were there they have no idea what happened! Have some respect and stay out of it! Its none of your business! The family is grieving, whjo are you to cast blame on anyone?! The person to blame is the one that killed him.

          1. Brooklyn Rabbi says:

            Who’s grieving? the 2 dikhed brothers who urinated on the outside of the restaurant who started this whole thing. They have to live with that the rest of their lives, that if they didn’t do something so effing stupid, it wouldn’t have started the chaos that ended with their brother getting knifed in the chest. Where did they learn to urinate on somebody’s property. Only a dog urinates on a fire hydrant, not a civilized human being.

            1. Sickofstupidity says:

              Were you there? Do you know that’s what really started it? No, then shut your mouth! It doesn’t matter what started it, there is no excuse for taking someone’s life!

            2. Joey C. says:

              Since ti seems both guys were urinating on the restaurant and both were brothers one can assume they learned it at home, possibly from their parents.

  4. TONGUE MASTER says:


    1. chris gorga says:

      you people really do have no morales ! it seems more like you guys were raised in a barn , ohhh but its ok to say nasty and cruel things like you do because you cower behind a computer all day . nobody knows the whole and true story behind all this yet . none the less its no excuse to MURDER someone ! thats ridicilious ! you people are disgusting and the sad thing is a see alot of stupid comments which is even sadder !! so hide behind your computer with your rude comments ….

  5. Mikeybklyn says:

    Can he be anymore vague?

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