Taunton Bertucci’s Donates George Heath’s Barstool to Widow
TAUNTON - Bertucci's is known to many for Italian dining in a family-friendly atmosphere. But for some, the name conjures up tragic memories of a spring day in 2016 in Taunton.
The Massachusetts-based company has announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief, and is closing 15 locations.
One of the now-closed locations is at the Silver City Galleria, where on May 10, 2016, Arthur DaRosa, 28, of Taunton, crashed his car into the Macy's department store, charged through the mall into the Bertucci's restaurant, and stabbed pregnant waitress, Sheenah Savoy. One man, George Heath, 56, of Taunton, saw the attack and didn't think twice, leaping from his barstool in an attempt to prevent DaRosa from further harming Savoy. Heath's heroic actions were met by a fatal stab wound from DaRosa's blade to his head.
Heath's wife, Rosemary, was with George that night and also tried to intervene during the attack. Rosemary was saddened upon hearing the news that the Taunton Bertucci's was closing, and her thoughts immediately went to the workers at that location.
"It's really sad that people are now without a job and it's another business in Taunton at the Galleria Mall that's closed," Rosemary told WBSM's Phil Paleologos on Tuesday morning, one day after the franchise closed it's doors to the public. "But the good silver lining out of it is that they're giving me George's barstool."
George's seat that night, barstool #4 on Bertucci's seating chart, was memorialized with a plaque that reads "In Loving Memory George A. Heath." Rosemary says the chair is being donated to her on Tuesday.
"Anything that I can get to be close to George, I'm all about. But now it's coming to my home and I'll be able to sit in it anytime I want now. I can have my coffee in it. I can walk by it every morning and look at it. It's special to me."
Rosemary says the closing of the Taunton Bertucci's was met by her with mixed emotions, but agrees that it is final closure in a horrific chapter in her life.
"I think for all of us, it's time to move on, move forward, put this behind us as much as we possibly can and just keep going forward. It's the only thing we can do. We can't change it."
DaRosa's deadly rampage also claimed the life of Patricia Slavin, 80, of Taunton, in an attack prior to the killing of George Heath at Bertucci's. Five other women were also injured in the attacks.
Rosemary says her husband's memory will continue to be honored in upcoming events, including a motorcycle run from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, where Heath taught Visual Design, to Taunton on June 10.