CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man who had served as a New York City officer was killed Sunday night when two people on a bicycle collided with him while speeding down the Memorial Causeway Bridge, police say.
Dean Anthony Bartolo, 39, was walking east on the bridge about 11:30 p.m. when the bike hit him while heading in the opposite direction, spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said. One individual was on the seat of the bicycle, and the other rode on the handlebars.
Bartolo was pronounced dead at the scene of a head injury. The two riding the bicycle were both taken to a local hospital, Castelli said. She didn't have their names Monday.
Dean's mother, Gisa Bartolo, said Monday that all she wants are answers about her son's death. She does not know who the bicyclists were, why her son was walking so late at night and how exactly he died. She tried to speak to the medical examiner, but no one was in the office to talk to her on Monday, she said.
"It's been tough," said Bartolo, 68, of Dunedin.
Bartolo said her son was a "charming" and "good-looking" man who was born and raised in Queens, N.Y. He was athletic and loved golf, fishing and lifting weights. Above all, he adored singing — especially in front of crowds, she said.
He became an officer with the New York Police Department but was forced to quit the job when he fell ill. In 1996, he moved with his wife, Kera, to Florida in order to be closer to his parents. Though Dean and Kera were no longer married at the time of his death, they had one son together: Christian, 8, who lives with his mother in Arcadia.
"He's my one and only grandson, who I cherish," Gisa Bartolo said. "And he's all I have left of my son."
Sara Gregory can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Martine Powers can be reached at (727) 445-4224 or email@example.com.