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Bayside man dies in sewer

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An elderly Bayside man died Saturday when he slipped into a sewage drain on his Flushing property and suffocated, police said.

Police said they found Luigi Cerrone, 83, face-down in the drain located in the parking lot behind the Prince II bar at 160-34 Northern Blvd. in Flushing around 4:45 p.m. Saturday. Cerrone owned the Prince II building, according to city records.

Emergency personnel pronounced the Bayside resident dead at the scene. Police said they do not know how long he was in the drain, but suspect it was less than a day.

Police also said they did not know how he fell into the drain.

Police said no criminality was suspected, and the investigation was ongoing.

A woman who answered the door of Cerrone’s Bayside home said the family had no comment on the death.

Jimmy Kwon, who lived next door to Cerrone for about 24 years, said he was shocked to learn of his friend’s death.

“A neighbor told me he had died, and I said, ‘Oh, my God,” Kwon said. “I am so sad.”

Kwon said Cerrone was a longtime Bayside resident who always went out of his way to be friendly to neighbors.

“He was always so nice, always saying, ‘Hi, how are youi Isn’t it a beautiful dayi’” Kwon said.

Kwon said he frequently saw Cerrone and his wife, to whom Cerrone had been married for about 60 years, in their backyard, where Cerrone spent many hours meticulously taking care of his garden.

“He was the best gardener,” Kwon said.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

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