40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl.

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40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/5/98 12:00 AM

In Drunken Brawl

Daily News Staff Writer

<Picture>he Battle of the Badges turned ugly last night when a bunch of drunken
firefighters at a midtown restaurant attacked a cop who came to aid the
eatery's besieged bouncer, police sources said.

The officer sustained a broken rib and a sprained back when he was thrown over
a wall and down a hill in the fracas at the Bryant Park Grill shortly before 11
p.m., police said.

The cop, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to Bellevue
Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

About 40 of the city's Bravest were being questioned in the incident early this
morning at the Midtown South stationhouse.

The firefighters had gone to the restaurant to celebrate the Fire Department
Medal Day ceremony, held earlier at City Hall.

As the partying continued, the firefighters began disrobing and barging into
the restaurant's kitchen and women's rest room while stunned patrons looked on,
sources said.

About 10:30 p.m., when the restaurant was trying to close for the night, the
security guard became involved in a physical confrontation with the
firefighters and that's when the cop showed up and ended up getting attacked
himself, police said.

The Fire Department had no comment on the incident.

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40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. Dave 6/5/98 12:00 AM

What's the point??

FDNYLIES wrote in message

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. Vgfd480 6/5/98 12:00 AM

who knows, they just partied too hard.
There was no need for all that stuff to happen

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. L.Peters 6/6/98 12:00 AM
Hey Ambulance Driver. I wonder if one of the NYFFs in this brawl were on
of the one's that pissed you off when you were wiping some ass, or
cleaning up puke. Get a Life and find another group to piss on. Have you
ever been in a NY Taxi.

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/6/98 12:00 AM

Hunt On
For Cafe Thugs
Rowdy firefighters run amok
Daily News Staff Writers
<Picture>he city yesterday launched an investigation into a drunken brawl
involving dozens of firefighters at a midtown cafe, vowing to break down the
Bravest's wall of silence.
The fracas featured boozy firefighters harassing female patrons, making lewd
comments, trespassing in the kitchen and exposing themselves, witnesses said.
<Picture: PHOTO>"What happened [Wednesday] is a very embarrassing episode for
our Fire Department," Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said. "I'm going to
make every effort to find those few individuals who are responsible for this
Fire brass last night ordered any firefighter with knowledge of the brawl
Wednesday night at the Bryant Park Cafe, an outdoor restaurant behind the New
York Public Library, to report to the FDNY's Bureau of Investigations and
The order offered "special consideration to those who came forward."
Mayor Giuliani called the melee, which took dozens of cops to douse and left
two officers slightly injured, "stupid, criminal and improper." He said the
Department of Investigation is probing it.
The brawl — hours after the city honored 52 firefighters for their bravery with
a City Hall ceremony — was similar to a May 1995 debacle in Washington that
embarrassed the Police Department.
In that incident, city cops honoring slain officers went on a drunken spree in
a hotel, harassing guests and performing unclad acts that led to one reveler
being nicknamed "Naked Man."
After Wednesday's incident, 18 witnesses — including police officers,
firefighters, restaurant staff and patrons — were interviewed, sources said.
Four people, including two firefighters, were questioned at the Midtown South
stationhouse, but none was arrested.
"It's not a question of protecting firefighters, it's a question of you can't
identify them because they were all wearing the same uniforms, and the
witnesses can't identify them," a police source said.
One source said those unable to identify the brawlers included two cops who
were in the restaurant celebrating with the firefighters.
The only person arrested was restaurant bouncer Ethan Kemp, though several
witnesses and restaurant staff members insisted that he only tried to break up
the fight.
The 30-year-old Jersey City college student, who wants to be a lawyer, was
charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest and obstructing government
"I don't think I was treated fairly," Kemp said, nursing a sore right shoulder
after he was arraigned and released.
Kemp allegedly threw Officer Lawrence McDonnell over a flower pot onto a patio
3 feet below, said Lt. Dennis Cirillo, a police spokesman. The cop injured his
neck, back and shoulder, he said.
But Kemp's lawyer, David Kapner, said his client was sweet-talked into not
pressing charges against firefighters by cops at the scene, who suggested no
charges would be leveled against him.
With Austin Fenner and Barbara Ross
40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/6/98 12:00 AM

Shocking Behavior
After Booze Cut Off
Daily News Staff Writers
<Picture>he fights began when they cut off the drinks. More than a dozen rowdy
firefighters turned ugly once their access to alcohol ended late Wednesday at
the elegant Bryant Park Cafe, staffers said last night.
"It was a madhouse," recalled one bartender. "We stopped serving around 10:30,
a couple hours earlier than usual. The firefighters hung around anyway. And
when they couldn't get their drinks, they started getting physical."
Wednesday had begun with dignity: 50 firefighters honored for acts of bravery
at 11 a.m. on the steps of City Hall.
Different Fire Department divisions hosted a half-dozen celebrations around
But the parties only wet the whistles of the roughly 60 firefighters who
converged on the W. 40th St. cafe around 5 p.m. — and began making trouble.
Restaurant officials thought back to a similar scene last year and expected the
worst. "Practically the same thing happened [in 1997], but luckily we ejected
them early enough," said Arlene Weston, the restaurant's beverage manager.
Not this year.
"They harassed every woman in here, walking into the ladies room, making
comments, taking off their [own] clothes, it was disgusting," said general
manager Donna Simms.
"They were walking into the kitchen with beers and cigars," she said.
Firefighters with guitars and an electric keyboard tried to set up a band — and
started cursing when staffers wouldn't let them play.
Firefighters even urinated in the bushes outside, Simms said.
When staffers closed the bar, "all pandemonium broke loose," said diner Rudolph
Schubert of Greenwich, Conn.
"It seemed like three or four small fights, not one big brawl," said Jason
Levine, 27, of Manhattan.
Bouncer Ethan Kemp — 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds — rushed to the aide of a customer
who staffers said was being harangued by firefighters.
"Seven of them then went after him," Simms said.
Police Officer Lawrence McDonnell found a firefighter and Kemp grappling on top
of a 3-foot-high flower planter, a police spokesman said.
McDonnell said Kemp "refused repeated orders to stop fighting." And when
McDonnell tried to separate the brawlers, Kemp allegedly threw him over the
Kemp said he "attempted to restrain" the firefighters. "I just saw punches and
arms flying," he said. "The police officer might have fallen on his own. I'm
not sure what took place."
Kemp's right shoulder was injured in the scuffle.
Restaurant staffers insisted Kemp did not hurl the cop but fell on top of him
during the ruckus.
Most of the firefighters left when the backup cops arrived, but Kemp was hauled
off to the Midtown South stationhouse in handcuffs.
"It was so unfair," Simms said. "Ethan is a wonderful employee. Those
firefighters were an embarrassment."
With Mike Claffey
40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/6/98 12:00 AM

Bunch of drunk losers...

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. Brian Humphrey 6/6/98 12:00 AM

Dear Mr. or Ms. Peters:

I response to a seemingly germane (but yes, rather embarrassing) message in
this newsgroup (which if I recall, was initially posted verbatim from a news
story without "comments"),

YOU wrote...

>Hey Ambulance Driver. I wonder if one of the NYFFs in this brawl were on
>of the one's that pissed you off when you were wiping some ass, or
>cleaning up puke.

While it may surprise you, *I* was going to post the story verbatim (like I
have news stories regarding FF arsonists and others that have put us in a
bad light). I draw no great pleasure in this, but feel that we should be
aware of both the good and less than wonderful things the public is hearing
about us (including my own agency).

Which begs the question:

Would you have been so brash to me or the many other American Firefighters
who proudly provide full-spectrum care to their communities?

The person who (sadly posts anonymously) as "FDNYLies" may have touched a
chord with you in the past, but in this case, it is you who should be
embarassed. Lashing out in such a manner to a verbatim post from wire copy
means that you simply assumed the light in which it was presented. And you
know how to spell "a-s-s-u-m-e".

If he or she wishes to make a bold statement in which you disagree with,
then fire away! Otherwise, your reply is a churlish and immature slight that
should draw the indignation of any man or woman proud enough to call
themselves a Firefighter or Paramedic.

I like many others, remain proud to say we are BOTH.

Your "ass wiping and puke cleaning" colleague,

Brian Humphrey

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. Hunter Schappaugh 6/6/98 12:00 AM

I thought I Put you in the KILLFILE!!  Stop whining and get a job.

Hunter Schappaugh, P&L
Houston, TX FD


> Bunch of drunk losers...

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. THOE1 6/7/98 12:00 AM

I geuss you won't be calling those drunkin loosers when yourhouse is burning
down!! Or when you need an ambulance  !!!!!!

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. Wayne Jasper 6/7/98 12:00 AM

In article <199806060518...@ladder03.news.aol.com>, fdny...@aol.com (FDNYLIES) wrote:
>Bunch of drunk losers...

Kind of like the disgruntled guy that wastes are time with these posts...

To reply to this message, please remove the
no.spam from the end of the return address.

 By US Code Title 47, Sec.227(a)(2)(B), a computer/modem/printer
   meets the definition of a telephone fax machine. By Sec.227(b)
   (1)(C), it is unlawful to send any unsolicited advertisement to
   such equipment, punishable by action to recover actual monetary
   loss, or $500, whichever is greater, for EACH violation.

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. W4ABC 6/7/98 12:00 AM

THOE1 wrote in message <199806071930...@ladder01.news.aol.com>...

>I geuss you won't be calling those drunkin loosers when yourhouse is
>down!! Or when you need an ambulance  !!!!!!

    "Drunken Losers" or not...

    My guess is, that you wouldn't normally be calling anyone who is off
duty anyway would you?

Jon Pearl  L-747

"The Second Amendment, really should be the first,
in that it is the one that protects all the others."

Charleton Heston - Vice President  NRA

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/14/98 12:00 AM

Firefighter Dismissed
In Grill Fray
Two more suspended

Daily News Staff Writers

<Picture>ne of the city's Bravest got the ax and two others were suspended last
night for their roles in the restaurant brawl involving a mob of drunken

In the first disciplinary action stemming from the June 3 melee at the Bryant
Park Grill, James Bruno of Engine Co. 34 in midtown, a rookie still on
probation, was fired for not cooperating with investigators.

Francis Morrisey of Engine Co. 319 in Maspeth, Queens, was suspended, also for
being uncooperative. Jean Paul Augier of Engine Co. 89 in the Bronx was
suspended for "conduct reflecting discredit on the department."

A city cop was injured in the mayhem, which occurred when dozens of
firefighters in dress uniforms went to the tony Manhattan restaurant after a
City Hall awards ceremony.

Angry that they could not set up a band and then that the restaurant was
cutting off the booze, the firefighters turned the place upside down, witnesses

Some raided the ladies' room. Others paraded into the kitchen, smoking cigars.
Still others urinated in the potted plants.

The firefighters started fighting, squaring off against one another and almost
anyone else in their way, according to witnesses' accounts.

By the next morning, however, after more than a dozen firefighters were brought
in for questioning, only the restaurant's guard, Ethan Kemp, was arrested.

"I have made it clear that the reported behavior at the Bryant Park Grill was
unacceptable," Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said last night. "These
people embarrassed my department."

Dan Lynch, the Uniformed Firefighters Association's Manhattan trustee, decried
the department's actions, saying they were premature.

"The UFA is not happy with the suspensions when the investigation is not
complete," Lynch said. "Obviously, the Fire Department is trying to put
pressure on people to come forward with information about the incident."

The Fire Department's probe is continuing, and investigators intend to track
down everyone involved, Von Essen said.

"We will find those responsible and we will punish them," he said.

So far, however, investigators from the Fire Department as well as the Police
Department and the Manhattan district attorney's office have been largely
stymied in their efforts.

Unable to distinguish among the throng of uniformed men, witnesses have been of
little help to investigators trying to determine who was involved and who

Kemp, arrested for alleged assault and resisting arrest, remains the only
person facing criminal charges.

The two suspended firefighters likely will face internal disciplinary
proceedings, fire officials said.

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. W4ABC 6/14/98 12:00 AM

    Obviously there are those amongst us that have to stand on other

    You have made your point.  You are better than everybody that you slam.
You have made this abundantly clear to us, what a great guy you are.

    While I'm on the subject of "WHO YOU ARE!"

    I have read the names of the FDNY firefighters that got into trouble.
Is there any chance that you might have gotten trouble in your "self
appointed great life?"

    Of course we wouldn't know now would we?  You fail to have a name.

Fraternally,  (where it applies)

Jon Pearl  L-747

"The Second Amendment, really should be the first,
in that it is the one that protects all the others."

Charleton Heston - Vice President  NRA

FDNYLIES wrote in message

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. Hunter Schappaugh 6/14/98 12:00 AM

    I just hope you never need any hlep from any firefigher or EMS worker in the
United States or Canada.  We don't soon forget attitudes such as yours.

Hunter Schappaugh
Houston Fire Department
Hosuston, TX

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/15/98 12:00 AM

Editorial: Policing the Firemen

  In keeping with his campaign promises, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has given New
Yorkers strict law enforcement. Ordinary citizens get ticketed for jaywalking.
Taxi drivers and street vendors are under close scrutiny from the New York City
Police Department. Given such enforcement policies, Mr. Giuliani and the police
have been troublingly quiet about the drunken brawl staged by New York City
firefighters last week at the Bryant Park Grill. The melee included between 50
and 100 uniformed firefighters who trashed the restaurant, harassed patrons,
exposed themselves and fought for five hours. Despite a wealth of witnesses,
the only person arrested was the restaurant's bouncer.

  If Mayor Giuliani wants to keep his credibility, he needs to condemn the
rioters openly and make sure there is no double standard for public-safety
employees who brawl in public.

  Our bet is that if 50 to 100 plumbers, lawyers or schoolteachers tore up a
restaurant, they would be denounced in press conferences and arrested by the

  The disorder at the Bryant Park Grill followed a celebration in which the
Mayor praised the firefighters for risking their lives for their fellow
citizens. The first accounts of the brawl indicated that about 40 firefighters
had drunk too much and gotten rowdy in the restaurant. But a quick pass by city
investigators showed that the number of firefighters involved might actually
have approached 100 and that the situation was worse than initially reported.

  Mayor Giuliani gives regular New Yorkers an earful when they misbehave. But
so far this year there has been no more flagrant breach of his civility
campaign. An official said Mr. Giuliani had kept quiet out of respect for the
family of another firefighter who died in the line of duty two days after the
brawl. That show of respect is proper, but it cannot become an excuse for
letting so many laws be so flagrantly violated without a strong investigative
and prosecutorial response.

  Over the weekend, law enforcement officials raised the troubling possibility
that none of the firefighters would be criminally charged but would face
departmental charges instead. Today the Police Department was talking about
pursuing the investigation wherever it leads, and that sounds better.

  New Yorkers will be understandably perplexed if there is a loophole in the
Mayor's civility campaign big enough to drive a busload of brawling
firefighters through.

Tuesday, June 9, 1998
Copyright 1998 The New York Times

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/15/98 12:00 AM

Inquiry Has No Suspects in Firefighter Brawl


  NEW YORK -- A police investigation into a brawl by firefighters at a
restaurant in Bryant Park last week appeared to have stalled Wednesday, with
Police Commissioner Howard Safir saying that witnesses had been unable to
identify any suspects.

  "The only information we have is people alleging that firefighters in uniform
were drinking, urinating in public and going into the ladies room," he said.

  He added that none of the civilians or firefighters who witnessed the
misbehavior at the Bryant Park Cafe on June 3 had filed criminal complaints.
Scores of firefighters had gone to the cafe to celebrate after a midmorning
ceremony at City Hall honoring their acts of heroism.

  The cafe's bouncer, Ethan Kemp, who apparently mistook an intervening police
officer as a brawler and tossed him over a flower pot, was the only person
arrested. He has been charged with assault, resisting arrest and obstruction of
governmental administration, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.

  "The information we have is that if any assaults took place, they were
between firefighters, not with civilians," Safir said.

  If the criminal investigation stalls, the firefighters who took part in the
brawl and other public indiscretions could face administrative charges brought
by the fire department.

  The district attorney's office granted the fire department's request to begin
an administrative investigation Wednesday. While refusing to comment on the
evidence gained so far, Michael Regan, a department spokesman, said that the
internal investigation would include interviews with firefighters.

  Two firefighters have been interviewed by the department's investigative
panel, said a fire official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said
that more interviews had been scheduled for Thursday.

Thursday, June 11, 1998

Copyright 1998 The New York Times

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. FDNYLIES 6/15/98 12:00 AM

1 Firefighter Dismissed, 2 Others Suspended


  NEW YORK -- The New York City Fire Department, frustrated in its
investigation of a drunken brawl among its members at a Manhattan restaurant
last week, fired one firefighter and suspended two others without pay Friday
because, investigators say, they were involved in or witnessed the fight and
are telling less than they know.

  Senior fire officials also disputed accounts of the brawl from some
law-enforcement officials, who said that it lasted for hours and involved 50 to
100 firefighters. Instead, the fire officials said, more than a dozen witnesses
reported that the fight began at about 10:20 p.m. and that perhaps four to six
bloodied men exchanged punches for 20 minutes before the police arrived.

  The fire officials also said that no witnesses reported seeing firefighters
expose themselves, and that only one witness, a bartender, told investigators
she had seen firefighters urinating in the bushes around the Bryant Park
Grill's cafe, where many firefighters gathered the evening of June 3 after
attending a ceremony at City Hall to honor acts of bravery.

  Even so, the fire officials said that accounts from as many as 18 civilian
witnesses they interviewed, and transcripts from hundreds of police interviews,
painted a scene of the uniformed firefighters drinking heavily, disrupting the
cafe's patrons and refusing to quiet down or leave.

  "We know these three firefighters were there, and that at least two of them
were involved in the fight," said a senior fire official who spoke on the
condition of anonymity. "And the two that we interviewed have not been
completely forthcoming about what happened, which is unacceptable."

  Though officials believe he was only a witness, James Bruno, 26, a rookie
firefighter who had been on the force only a few months at Engine 34 in
Manhattan, was fired because investigators concluded that he was withholding
the names of those he knew to be involved.

  "For him not to have seen anything and not to know anything is just not
believable," the senior official said, adding that the department has more
latitude to dismiss probationary firefighters for misconduct.

  Suspended indefinitely without pay were Francis Morrisey, 26, who has been on
the force for a year and a half at Engine 319 in Queens, and Jon-Paul Augier,
24, who has been a firefighter for the same amount of time at Engine 89 in the

  Morrisey told investigators that he had been punched unprovoked by another
firefighter as he sat at a table at the cafe and that he had not fought back.

  Fire investigators have been unable to interview Augier because the Manhattan
district attorney's office, for reasons that remained unclear Friday night,
instructed them not to. But fire officials said he was suspended because the
accounts of civilians and cooperating firefighters placed him at the center of
the fights.

  "As I said last week when we had this unfortunate incident, I'm making every
effort to get to the bottom of it," said Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen,
who took the action against the firefighters Friday evening.

  Attempts to reach the three firefighters by telephone at home Friday night
were not successful.

  Dan Lynch, the Manhattan trustee for the firefighters' union, criticized the
disciplinary actions. "We believe the Fire Department's actions are to put
pressure on people to come forward with information about this incident," said
Lynch, who added that, if necessary, the union will fight in court to win back
the jobs.

  Because no civilians have said they were hurt or have filed criminal
complaints, and because the owners of the restaurant have not formally alleged
that property was damaged, the case has been difficult to investigate. No
firefighters have pressed charges against each other.

  Fire and police investigators have narrowed down the firefighters they
believe were present by using credit card receipts and the accounts of patrons
and restaurant employees.

  In an unusual twist, fire officials said they were certain that Bruno was at
the restaurant as early as 7 p.m. that night because he assisted paramedics at
the scene as they treated a male patron who fainted for reasons that appear to
be unrelated to the firefighters' rowdiness.

  The officials also said they believed that law-enforcement officials gave too
much credence to the account of Donna Simms, the general manager of the
restaurant, who said that firefighters had fistfights over several hours,
exposed themselves and had turned over furniture. Fire investigators said Ms.
Simms left about 9 p.m., shortly before the restaurant was closed early because
of the noise and disruption.

  A man who identified himself as the manager of the Bryant Park Grill but
would not give his name said Friday night that Ms. Simms was not working and
could not be reached until Monday.

Saturday, June 13, 1998

Copyright 1998 The New York Times

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. W4ABC 6/15/98 12:00 AM


FDNYLIES wrote in message
:Editorial: Policing the Firemen:

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. W4ABC 6/15/98 12:00 AM


FDNYLIES wrote in message
:Inquiry Has No Suspects in Firefighter Brawl:

40 Drunk New York City Firefighters Start Brawl. W4ABC 6/15/98 12:00 AM


FDNYLIES wrote in message
:1 Firefighter Dismissed, 2 Others Suspended:

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