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May 21, 2019

Bronx prosecutors are investigating boozy firefighter brawl

June 29, 2018
Bronx firefighters argue on the sidewalk after brawl in Billy’s Bar near Yankee Stadium earlier this month. Bouncers reportedly had to pepper spray at least one firefighter to break up the fighting. (@will_tooill/Instagram)

Bronx prosecutors are getting into the mix to decide if charges are justified in a drunken brawl between firefighters, the Daily News has learned.

Earlier this month, a full-on firefighter fracas exploded between off-duty uniformed smoke eaters when someone was called the N-word.

It had been Medal Day and the drinking had started hours earlier, a source said.

The incident came up Thursday at a Brooklyn Federal Court date on a long-running settlement to improve diversity in FDNY ranks. At that hearing, city lawyer Eric Eichenholtz told Judge Nicholas Garaufis that the Bronx district attorney’s office was also investigating the matter.

The melee broke out in the bar on E. 161st St. on Medal Day.
The melee broke out in the bar on E. 161st St. on Medal Day. (Sam Costanza for New York Daily News)

When news of the brawl broke, the FDNY said it had launched an investigation and turned over videos to the city Department of Investigation.

Eichenholtz was responding to Regina Wilson, president of the Vulcan Society, a black firefighter organization. Wilson faulted the department moments earlier for, in her view, not coming out to clearly denounce what happened. The department was “very conscious” of its image and positive stories were “not always reported on,” Eichenholtz said.

Garaufis said “with so much progress being made here,” he was concerned about firefighters who “haven’t gotten the message they are professionals.”

When the Bronx brawl happened, FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said “everyone and anyone who engaged in this outrageous behavior will be held accountable.”

A Bronx district attorney’s spokeswoman declined to comment.

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