NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Anthony Cervini will never forget the day he learned his father had been stabbed to death inside a North Providence convenience store.
“I still remember everything from that day like it just happened,” Anthony said.
Brian Cervini, 60, succumbed to his injuries soon after he was assaulted by a complete stranger back in May when he stopped to get a coffee at a Cumberland Farms.
As Brian was waiting to pay, police said Christopher Carbajal emerged from the bathroom and stabbed him several times in the back.
Anthony, the oldest of Brian’s four children, tells 12 News he typically doesn’t pick up his phone for restricted numbers, but he did that afternoon.
“I don’t know why I picked it up, I never, ever do,” he said.
On the other end of the line was a North Providence Police officer, who told Anthony he needed to speak with him in person. Anthony complied and gave the officer his address.
“Now I’m kind of pacing the house, I have no idea what’s going on,” Anthony recalled.
But nothing could’ve prepared Anthony for what the officer told him when he arrived.
“He said ‘something happened at Cumberland Farms, your father was assaulted and he passed away,'” Anthony said. “Everything just went numb, and I’m looking at him and thinking … there’s no way this is real. But then I’m like, this is a North Providence Police officer, at my house, who’s telling me this and I know they’re not going to just make this up.”
“I sat down and it was just like time just stopped,” he continued. “Even now, it still hasn’t really sunk in. I still pass trucks [on the road] like the ones he drove and still look in the driver’s seat expecting to see him.”
Anthony said his father was a mechanic at heart with a passion for cars and motorcycles. His dad also dedicated his life to his family, friends and customers.
“He was just a great dude and would not think anything of taking that extra minute or two to stop someone who’s having a bad day, he’d have that talk with you,” Anthony said. “If you were having a hard time working on something, he’d come over and show you. If someone was broken down on the side of the road, he’d pull over to help them.”
Anthony said his dad loved his motorcycle, which is why the Cervinis have organized a memorial bike ride and fundraiser geared toward raising money for students who are interested in learning a trade.
“No matter what went on during his day or any burden he held on his shoulders, I remember that smile he had when he was on that bike and he would pull up,” Anthony recalled.
The Cervinis hope the “Ride for Rambo Bike Run” will become an annual event, which they believe will be well attended by everyone whose lives were impacted by Brian.
“My father wasn’t just a father to us, he was that type of person to people even his own age,” Anthony said. “He just had that about him and he touched a lot of people and I know there’s other people out there that are feeling similar to the way we are.”
The bike ride is scheduled for Aug. 1 and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone interested in attending can purchase tickets online, which range in price from $50 to $20 depending on which bundle is selected.
Carbajal is facing a series of charges, including murder, and is currently being held without bail at the ACI.