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Man killed on bicycle was casino chef known to friends as Monkey Man

Jason Michael ‘Monkey Man’ Salisbury
Jason Michael ‘Monkey Man’ Salisbury

Kelly Hanshaw’s son called her at 11:26 p.m. Friday to tell her he would be home soon.

Jason Michael Salisbury, a chef at Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi, was cycling home from the casino after a night shift. His license had been suspended, Hanshaw said, because he could not afford to pay a speeding ticket. Hanshaw had told her son it would be best to take his bike to work Friday.

When Hanshaw hung up the phone, Salisbury, 26, was close to turning onto Tucker Road in Jackson County.

“I said, ‘OK baby, I’ll wait up for you.’ And he never came home,” Hanshaw said. “He was biking home all because he listened to his momma.”

Salisbury was killed on Tucker Road just after midnight Saturday when a Ford F-150 pickup truck hit his bicycle, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said. Dylan Anthony Bullock, the 23-year-old driver of the truck, was arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatality, Ezell said.

Hanshsaw said Bullock lives in her neighborhood.

Through tears and pauses for breath Saturday, Hanshaw said her son, known to his friends as “Monkey Man,” was always positive and energetic, and never met a stranger.

“He loved everything and everyone,” she said of her eldest, who was idolized by her two younger boys, Steven Hanshaw, 18, and Daniel Hanshaw, 15. “He was the most wonderful person to be around.”

Salisbury loved to be with people and was always on the go. He especially loved singing in the car. It did not matter where he was or who was with him, Hanshaw said. When a song came on the radio, he delivered a mobile concert.

He got his nickname, which was tattooed on his forearm, “because he was so hyper,” she said.

But when somebody wanted to pick fun at him, they would call him “Pudding.”

“I called him my pudding pop, because when was born he came out all wrinkled, and he looked like a vanilla pudding pop,” his mom said.

Salisbury was engaged to marry Tina Brown, and he was helping raise her four children, Hanshaw said. He was living at home but would give money from each paycheck to Brown to help with her living expenses, Hanshaw said.

“Anything that he could do for Tina and the kids, that surmounted anything else,” she said.

Hanshaw and her family are grieving the loss of Salisbury, who she said was taken away too soon.

“Michael shouldn’t have left — everything has a reason for it to happen, but it shouldn’t have happened to Michael,” she said.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @Journalism_J

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