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Charges Against 11 Firefighters Involved in Brawl Pending

Charges Against 11 Firefighters Involved in Brawl Pending

New York City Fire Department Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano [AP]

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

February 05, 2010

“These men beat my son very badly,” Selmani’s father, who wouldn’t give his name, told The News last night. “It was eight people hitting him. He was brutalized. He did nothing wrong.”

He said he couldn’t watch the video of the melee.

“I’m his father. I can’t stand to see it. It was awful.”

Selmani’s relatives said the group rarely drinks and were at the bar to play pool.

“Those guys wanted to beat the life out of him,” said Jetmir Selimi, 17. “He was holding to a pole begging them to stop…. Who would do this?”

The firefighters were among dozens from Engine 310/Ladder 174 in East Flatbush who capped an annual dinner with drinks at the Salty Dog.

Those involved in the fight won’t be disciplined until the NYPD and Department of Investigation probes are complete, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said.

“[Fighting] is not what firefighters do. We’re here to help the public, that’s our job,” said Cassano, who called the Engine 310/Ladder 174 firehouse one of the city’s best.

Two cousins initially told police they did not want to press charges, but later filed a report at the 68th Precinct and hired lawyer Joe Tacopina.

Tacopina said surveillance video supports their claims.

“It was disgusting [and] it makes the blood boil,” the lawyer said. “These are nice kids. Not one of them has had trouble with law.”


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