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Man arrested in fatal hit and run

August 15, 2012 8:16:27 PM PDT
For the first time, a family is speaking out about the death of their son who was killed by a hit and run driver on Long Island.

41-year-old Dean LaLima was struck as he was riding his bike home from work on Sunday.

Wednesday, police received an anonymous tip that they say led them to the killer.

Restaurant in Garden City was dark Wednesday night.

There are no tickets on the wheel, no line at the door or dinners on the tables.

The workers just couldn't find a smile for the customers after the sudden death of their boss and friend.

"He was awesome, he was like the best big brother you could ever have," said his sister.

45-year-old Raymond Kalenka is now charged in connection with Dean LaLima's death.

Kalenka was arraigned Wednesday on a single charge of leaving the scene of an accident where a death occurred.

Police got an anonymous tip that that it was Kalenka who struck and killed LaLima, as he was riding his bike home from work early Sunday morning.

"He left behind a sister, and three wonderful nephews, two of whom were his godchildren," said John LaLima, the victim's father.

"Dean was the finest kind of person that you would ever want to meet," said Craig Biscone, the victim's friend, "I started as a customer and became one of his closest friends in the world, he had the keys to my house in Garden City, the keys to my house in Vermont, and he was welcome in both of them any time that he wanted."

His family still has questions about how Dean LaLima died, but they have none about how he lived.

"All I heard was praise, you have the greatest son in the world, you must be a proud papa," John LaLima said.

Mr. Kalenka pleaded not guilty to the single charge against him. The judge set a $50,000 bail. Kalenka has two children, both sons, one in high school and one in college, but no one answered at his home when Eyewitness News went there Wednesday night.

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