The alleged attack occurred on Friday night in Juniper Valley Park in Queens. According to police reports, the firefighter, who has not been named, was walking his dog near the park when “at least 100 kids” attacked him.
According to a police report, the firefighter complained to the teens that they were being too loud, which prompted an argument. The confrontation escalated to violence. The firefighter claims the teens were setting off fireworks near the park.
The NYPD account of the attack claims the teens punched the victim in his head and body before he was able to flee the scene.
The unnamed firefighter spoke with the New York Post. He claims he was accosted by the teens in an unprovoked incident.
“They just picked me out and approached me,” he said.
According to his account, one of the teens took their shirt off and claimed they could “fight him,” after which other teens took their phones out to film the encounter.
“They all came at me,” he said. The firefighter claimed a teen came up behind him and hit him with a bottle in the back of his head. “I got hit, turned around, that's when the kids started coming at me.”
At that point, he let go of his dog. One of the teens grabbed the dog’s leash and appears to have pulled it away from the beating, as the dog was found later by a Good Samaritan unharmed.
The firefighter told police that the teens were “going crazy” and were “high as a kite” during the attack.
Eventually, the firefighter ended up on the ground while grappling one of the teens. He was saved when a nearby ambulance caught the disturbance and rolled onto the scene, prompting the teens to flee the area.
“If they weren't there I would have been in much worse condition,” the firefighter said.
The NYPD has not made any arrests in the attack but has released photos of the suspects and asked for the public's help identifying them.
A video of the event starts about midway through the fight and shows the firefighter squaring up against the teens before being overwhelmed by them. The firefighter's dog can be seen barking in the video.
The victim said that he was a “little lumped up” but thanked God for getting through the attack without more severe injuries.
According to the man, the park has been a frequent hangout spot for teens, and he claims to have found several knives while out walking in the park.
The founder of the Guardian Angels, and Republican New York mayoral candidate, Curtis Silwa criticised the NYPD for not intervening and said his group would begin patrolling the park on Saturday evening.