Off-duty firefighter defending couple, attacked, punched by teens
The firefighter told the kids to stop taunting a nearby couple when he was sucker-punched
Esha Ray , Rikki Reyna and John Annese
New York Daily News
NEW YORK CITY — An off-duty firefighter was sucker-punched and stomped on the Upper East Side as he tried to defend a couple from a group of young toughs, cops said Sunday.
The 38-year-old firefighter was walking with his girlfriend on E. 86th St. near Second Ave., about 7:20 p.m. Saturday when he saw a group of young people running back and forth from the street to the sidewalk.
The youths — five males and two females, 15 or 16 years old, according to a nearby doorman — were taunting a nearby couple. The firefighter told the kids to cut it out, cops said.
One young man in the group responded by punching the firefighter in the back of his head, sending him sprawling to the ground, said police.
The doorman said he was at his desk in his building when he heard a woman scream and yell, “Oh my God!” He jumped from his desk and ran to the scene.
“Outside, I saw the guy lying face down on the floor, gushing blood. And the kids were running down Second Avenue," he said.
The doorman sought help from some doctors who live in his building — but by the time they arrived, police and an ambulance was already at the scene.
Medics took the firefighter to New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Officials did not describe the extent of the firefighter’s injuries, except to report that he was out of the hospital on Sunday. Police had not made any arrests as of Sunday evening.
The doorman — who didn’t give his name — said the couple being taunted by the youths was riding bicycles. The youths "had to have been saying something really vulgar and nasty,” he said.
“They were a bunch of hoodlums. Just rowdy, misdirected, misguided kids. Kids think they can do whatever they want to do," he said. "It’s some real punk juvenile crap to get him from behind instead of facing him like the gentleman he is.”
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