Levittown road renamed after NYPD officer slain 51 years ago

NYPD Officer Robert Denton was killed 51 years ago while on patrol in Brooklyn.

News 12 Staff

Jul 24, 2022, 12:11 PM

Updated 637 days ago

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An NYPD officer from Long Island who was killed on duty was honored with a street renaming Sunday in Levittown. The long-overdue honor became a reality thanks to the power of an undying friendship.
NYPD Officer Robert Denton of Levittown was killed in the line of duty on July 24, 1971. He was on patrol near the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn when a man slashed his throat in an unprovoked attack. Denton was 26.
"He was just a wonderful, wonderful human being. He treated everyone equally," said Ron Bellistri, who was Denton's best friend since they attended Abbey Road Elementary School in Levittown in the 1950s.
From the day Denton died, Bellistri vowed to remind people to never forget his friend's service and sacrifice.
"Since then, I've been going to the 73rd Precinct every morning buying the entire precinct flowers and breakfast in his name so he would be remembered," Bellistri said.
In 2021, Bellistri tried to get a street renamed in Denton's honor near the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn. The local community board rejected the idea, but Bellistri didn't give up.
When Bellistri told Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman about Denton's story, he paved the way to renaming a road in Levittown in the fallen officer's memory.
"If New York City wouldn't do it, then his hometown will do it," Blakeman said.
On the day that marked 51 years of Denton's death, his hometown erupted in applause as Abby Lane was dedicated. The street sign sits a few feet from Denton's childhood home.
"This day means, after 51 years, that I could finally have closure," Bellistri said. "I think he would be proud, very proud and happy that his name will be on this street forever."
Denton was a newlywed when he was killed. He is survived by a nephew.


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