Slain Massapequa Park Man Remains an Enigma

Anthony DiGeronimo's online profiles paint a troubled portrait.

The Facebook profile of Anthony DiGeronimo – the Saturday night after he charged them with knives in both hands – was both a landing spot for friends to memorialize him and for others to draw their own conclusions and demonize his final, fatal act.

In his profile photo, DiGeronimo, 21, dons a spiked mask over his nose and mouth with chains adorning a back shirt. His interests include the familiar (hanging out with friends, music, techno), the fringe (graffiti, occult, Gothic) and the disturbing (choking, humiliation, collecting weapons).

The latter was on full display in photos posted to his MySpace profile. DiGeronimo showed off a cache of large blades and knives in photos posted online. Taken together with his philosophical rants, it paints a portrait of a troubled young man. It was information police quickly seized upon in the hours after the shooting.

“He’s a self-described anarchist,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said at a Sunday press briefing at police headquarters in Mineola. “He’s into Satanism.”

But friends and family say it’s all an act.

“Truth is I really, really wish I knew what made this happen because the Anthony I know is a harmless, quiet, soft-spoken polite kid,” said one friend who asked not to be named. “That’s what really caught me off guard. He was the type of kid who got picked on and stuff in school, which pretty much led to him bringing blades around and all that Satan BS. But that was all a front, like a defense mechanism, you know.”

A teenager who claimed to be his cousin recalled a doting, brotherly figure who collected giraffes. “I was very close to him,” she said via email. “We grew up very close. He was like a brother to me my entire life. He always made me laugh. He was hilarious. He had a collection of giraffe figures. He loved giraffes." 

The 6-foot-2-inch DiGeronimo was a 2007 graduate of Massapequa High School. His cousin said he had no immediate plans to go to college and didn’t have a job.

Nobody answered when Patch knocked at the door of his parents’ home on Sunday afternoon. That same residence, on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Front Street, was a hive of police activity late Saturday into Sunday.  

It all unraveled quickly. Police responded to a report of a man with several knives menacing the neighborhood. DiGeronimo jumped on the hood of a car on Front Street driven by a woman in her 70s, Nassau police Lt. Kevin Smith said. He brandished one of his knives and struck the car with it in a stabbing motion. 

“He tried to stab the car,” Smith said.  

When police arrived, DiGeronimo fled. He ran into his house and locked himself in a back room. Officers gave chase and evacuated his parents from the home. Moments later, DiGeronimo opened the door and lunged at the officers. That’s when they opened fire, striking DiGeronimo seven times.

“He barged out of the room in a wild manner with the knife above his head,” Mulvey said. “Masked leather; Satanic garb; knives all over his body. He had knives in both hands.”

Police did note that DiGeronimo had no prior record.

“He really flies under the radar,” Smith said. “We knew nothing about this guy.” 

Even for those who claim to have known DiGeronimo, he will remain a mystery. 

A Facebook friend told Patch: “He didn’t do drugs. At least I never saw him on or doing drugs. And I didn’t know him that well, but he was a friend and a kind person. I’ve heard he started carrying weapons because he was bullied. And all the news making him out to be a monster makes me sick. No one should have died last night.”

Billy Glide March 15, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Hmmm concerned from reading your comments I truly would question not only your so called previous police experiance but also your daily television shows. WAY to much cop shows. Real life 2 evening tour nassua cops are not planting sadistic knives and looking to kill innocent young men. Maybe you also feel they made up his facebook and other social websites to fool the public. Get real yes mistakes where made by fellow police officers leading to the horrific death of a hero cop. But make no mistake the actions of this disturbed crazy young man set this all off and blaming the police is purely sad and misguided.
Billy Glide March 15, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Catherine she was sorry that she called 911 because a hero was killed and a young man also lost his life. NOT because she now feels she was not in danger.its guilt not recounting events.
Rockadelic March 15, 2011 at 06:47 PM
This whole thing stinks of poor parenting.......what 21 year old doesn't realize that there are consequences for their actions.......one that is mentally ill, impaired or had never been taught about consequences....I haven't seen ANYONE claim he was mentally ill or under the influence so that only leaves the latter. Instead of recognizing where the blame lies some folks want to blame the Media or the Police. Without the actions of this young man there would never had been any Police or Media involvement......accountability appears to have been replaced by pointing fingers at the reaction rather than the original action where it belongs.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 06:51 PM
I never claimed to have Police experience that was you! Having a senior moment? Maybe the truth really does sting?
Catherine March 15, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Cop, who is Carver? How do you know about the lack of supervision? Why was your post removed?
nitestalker March 15, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Listen,Everbody lost here.like i said before,a man was killed,Parents lost a child,two officers have to live with their decision,one officer has to live with killing a fellow brother officer,a good cop lost his life,a family lost a husband and father. Very sad all around.
nitestalker March 15, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Carver is the PBA president for nassau
nitestalker March 15, 2011 at 07:12 PM
The Post was removed because it's probably true.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Billy maybe you and Catherine should hook up? Between you both there is something in common 2 brain cells a piece! You could both spin out of control like tops together!
Catherine March 15, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Concerned Massapequa, first let me clear the vomit from my mouth. Have you read any of my comments? To even suggest such a thing!!!! Shame on you!!!
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Maybe you should know who the people involved are? Before you cast so much time and effort in spewing your opinions on everyone.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 07:30 PM
Shame on me, Shame on you! Take off those rose colored glasses......
Maureen March 15, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Does anyone not recognize that Satanism is real. If you summon the devil; he will come. So blame who you will and there are many human errors involved in this incident; but truly no one had a prayer that night, especially not 'Goatmilk'.
Catherine March 15, 2011 at 07:45 PM
Maureen save crazy for another day, were all stocked up here.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Wow spinning like a top on a table just waiting for a place to crash....
Rockadelic March 15, 2011 at 07:53 PM
When you are having a debate or discussion and you resort to personal insults....you've lost the argument.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 07:54 PM
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 07:56 PM
First of all. For all of you nay sayers there is now an Official Investigation into all shots fired so if this was was so righteous why an investigation?
Rockadelic March 15, 2011 at 08:02 PM
EVERY Police shooting warrants an investigation. No doubt there needs to be an ivestigation as to how the officer was shot and SOP's be put in to place to try to prevent this type of "friendly fire" from happening again.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Yeah Good but 7 shots for 150 lb. man is more than excessive when a non- lethal bean bag would have put him on his ass and he would be sitting in a Pod over Nassau County right now contemplating his actions! CASE CLOSED NOTHING too debate or win here 2 people are dead You act as if this kid had no reason or right to live and meant nothing to anyone well that is not the case he deserves a voice in this to avoid this ever happening again.
Rockadelic March 15, 2011 at 08:21 PM
I know a foolproof way of preventing it from happening. Don't lunge towards Police officers "in a wild manner with the knife above his head,” With knives in both hands and more strapped to your body. Pretty simple.
NoXV March 15, 2011 at 08:24 PM
I knew him too, and I figure the only reason they shot him was because they thought he looked like a freak. Bias and prejudice is what killed Anthony/Barbaric, and he didn't deserve to die young.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 08:28 PM
That's your story! Your a very sad person and I hope trajedy like this never strikes you or your family. Nobody has this all figured out so you go enjoy life no sweat off your back right?
Rockadelic March 15, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Actually, that's the story in the news article above. I do have a few things figured out and I'll do you a favor and teach you one of them. If you run towards police officers with knives in both hands something bad is going to happen. Please believe that....one less life lesson you'll need to figure out.
tania March 15, 2011 at 08:37 PM
This whole story is completely absurd. There was one guy inside that house. One guy 'charging" at how many police officers? Police officers are suppose to protect and serve not be gun happy pansies. Because of their cowardness, because of the police hiding behind a gun, because I'm sure the cops were saying, i mean yelling, horrible things at this guy before he ran into his house, this man is dead. So what if he wore weird things, so what if he worshiped whatever he worshiped, so what if he listened to strange music! All you are doing by stating all of this is being a bully yourself. Also, we will never know in what "manner" he lunged at the cops. The cops will say one thing and the family will say another. This whole situation is terrible and there is no reason this kid should be dead. guns dont kill people, people do.
concerned massapequa March 15, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I don't find myself interacting with Police so worry about yourself. It's your story there story and that is exactly what it is a STORY and one that smells really bad!
Corey March 15, 2011 at 09:03 PM
Tony would never have sliced at them. He is too intellegent to do something so stupid. Sarah is right, it's not like him. Sarah, you are so lucky to have talked to him before hand, last time was on whirled, about a month or two ago. Tony, try rest in peace dear friend.
Corey March 15, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Really? Do you even KNOW Tony? He isnt some lunatic, he was an amazing and intellegent friend. He was like a BROTHER to alot of us, and he didnt think he was loved, but really, you should have seen all of us mourning. He wasn't going to murder them, just try to run away. The police are the real murderers here, they could have used tasers, not cold hard steel in a cap. You've got some nerve dehumanizing a great person who you have never met before.
nitestalker March 15, 2011 at 09:10 PM
One thing I do know from reading about this incident. 1)If Digeronimo really wanted to hurt someone on the day in question he would have done more than just jumped on the womans car and fled without hurting or killing her with all the weapons he possesed at the time.It sounds like he did it to get a rise out of her.2) When he fled into his house and barricaded himself in his room and was isolated and contained and posing immediate threat to anyone but himself, why did the officers go back into the house after they safely removed his parents from the danger?Protocol would dictate to form a perimeter and request the hostage negotiators and ESU to repond while maintaining firearms control if possible of course , and all of this happening under the SUPERVISION of a SUPERVISOR who should be on scene or the least enroute to the location.Once there then take CONTROL of the SITUATION and EXCLUDE any and ALL PERSONEL who are not CONDUCIVE to the SITUATION.Example-retired police officer,MTA officers and all plain clothes officers.Tragic miscalculations all around.
Edward Robinson (Editor) March 15, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Funeral arrangements have been set for Officer Breitkoph http://patch.com/N-P7V There has also been a memorial fund set up for his family. http://patch.com/N-PRz


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