Shock quickly turned to grief in the Heights when residents learned a man some often referred to as "the mayor of the block" died in Pershing Field Sunday morning.
Anthony Bello, a retired teacher from St. Nicholas across the street, died just feet away from his Manhattan Avenue home where he lived for decades, according to people who knew him.
The Hudson County Prosecutor's Office confirmed homicide detectives were investigating the suspicious death of a man at the city park. He was brought to Jersey City Medical Center where he died.
Sources said there was some kind of physical altercation. Residents reported seeing Bello, who is about 77 years old, on a park bench before he was taken away in an ambulance early this morning.
On his way to get his morning cup of coffee, Bello often stopped to talk to his neighbors, spreading positive words of encouragement. He was known for doing anything for kids in the neighborhood and was described as someone who would give the shirt off his back for anyone in need.
Jorainui Quinton, stood in the park near where Bello died with tears in her eyes. She recalled Bello, a youth sports coach, one day stopping by with over $100 worth of carnival tickets for her four children.