Firefighters probed over NYC bar brawl
The New York Post
NEW YORK — Two dozen boozed-up active and retired firefighters viciously attacked four Brooklyn bar patrons during a wild brawl sparked when one of the victims accidentally spilled a drink on a smoke-eater, The Post has learned.
The brutal assault - which left one victim with multiple broken bones - is being investigated by the NYPD, which expects to charge up to a dozen of the participants with felonies, sources said.
Among the damning evidence is a shocking surveillance video of Friday's beating captured by security cameras inside and outside the Salty Dog Bar in Bay Ridge, which has a firehouse theme.
The video — which shows an FDNY captain and lieutenant in the bar at the time — is being examined to determine the attackers' identities.
"I've seen a lot of fights, and this had to have been the worst," said patron Larry Johnson, 27.
The police probe is focused on current and past members of Engine Co. 310 and Ladder Co. 174 on Snyder Avenue in East Flatbush.
Sources said the night began when a large group of firefighters met for an annual dinner at Two Toms Restaurant in Gowanus.
Afterward, up to 30 of them ended up at the Salty Dog, and began boozing in earnest.
They soon crossed paths with four of the civilians inside - two of them 35, one 39 and the fourth 21. The men are all first cousins, according to their high-powered lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, who was retained for a possible lawsuit.
At around 2 a.m., the 21-year-old went to pull a shot glass from the bar and accidentally spilled some of the drink on a firefighter.
"It looked like he was saying, 'I'm sorry,' and the firefighter started yelling and screaming, and one of his buddies came around and punched him the face," Johnson said.
The firefighter and his pals then went after the man's three cousins, according to sources.
The bar quickly erupted in chaos, as firefighters allegedly pummeled the cousins —and even bouncers who tried to intercede.
"The guy who spilled the drink was with three other people," Johnson said. "I saw four or five people get pulverized. They were kicking this guy's ass bad."
One of the 35-year-olds was dragged into a bathroom and mercilessly beaten by firefighters, as another group chased the 39-year-old and 21-year-old outside and bashed them.
The victim in the bathroom managed to escape, and hid in the basement with the other 35-year-old.
A bar employee called cops, but sources said one cousin who had been attacked told officers he didn't want to press charges.
The man who had been beaten in the bathroom later fled the bar and went to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was treated for a broken eye orbit bone, as well as a broken collarbone and shoulder. Later that day, he notified 68th Precinct cops of the attack.
The FDNY had no comment.
Copyright 2010 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved