The New York Police Department has released images of three teenagers accused of launching a vicious attack on a firefighter as he walked his dog.
The 44-year-old father of three was walking his Labradoodle, Dylan, in Juniper Valley Park in the Middle Village neighborhood of Queens.
He was walking along the road at around 9.55pm on Friday when ‘at least 100 kids’ attacked him, with one of the youngsters calling it ‘fight night’.
On Sunday the NYPD published an appeal for help in identifying the attackers.
The three young white men were described as wearing shorts, t-shirts and sneakers.
New York Police Department are searching for the young man in the white shorts and sneakers (pictured), who attacked the firefighter on Friday night
A second suspect was pictured with shoulder-length hair and a black t-shirt (left), and the third wore a gray t-shirt. It was unclear if the three, if caught, would be charged with felonies or misdemeanors
‘The victim engaged the group in conversation concerning the noise they were making. A verbal dispute ensued which escalated in a physical encounter with multiple individuals kicking and punching the victim about the body, before he was able to flee the scene,’ NYPD officials said in their appeal.
‘Although the victim sustained cuts, bruising and pain he refused medical attention.’
The firefighter, who has not been named, told the New York Post the mob set on him.
‘They just picked me out and approached me,’ he said.
He said one of the teens took of his shirt and declared ‘I could fight you’ while everyone else took out their cell phones. Some of the footage has gone viral online.
‘They all came at me,’ he said.
‘A kid came up behind me and hit me in the back of the head with a bottle and I let go of the dog.’
The moment a mob of violent teens attacked an off-duty FDNY firefighter walking his dog in New York City was caught on video
The firefighter, 44, was walking his Labradoodle in Juniper Valley Park in the Middle Village neighborhood of Queens around 9:55 p.m. on Friday
The video shows his dog barking at the attackers before someone grabs his leash, while he tries to defend himself from the group of teenagers
The firefighter said that the kids ‘were going crazy’ and claimed they were ‘high as a kite’ before he got hit out of nowhere. Officers confirmed that he was hit in the back of a head with a glass bottle
The video footage, which appears to start in the middle of the attack, shows the man put up his fist while his dog barks at the mob, before someone grabs his leash.
The firefighter said that the youngsters ‘were going crazy’ and claimed they were ‘high as a kite’ before he got hit.
‘I got hit, turned around, that’s when the kids started coming at me,’ he told the New York Post.
‘Then I was on the floor, holding one kid.’
He was eventually saved when an ambulance pulled up.
‘They were waiting by the park,’ he said.
‘If they weren’t there I would have been in much worse condition.’
Officers told the New York Post that the man was hit in the head with a glass bottle, and that no arrests have been made.
His dog was saved by a Good Samaritan and not hurt during the attack.
‘I’m a little lumped up. What are you going to do? Thank God I’m still here. It could have been worse,’ the firefighter said.
He said the park has become a hangout spot for rowdy teens and noted that he found three knives in the park on Saturday.
Curtis Sliwa, the long-shot Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, also shared the video on Twitter and said the firefighter was attacked when he asked the teens to stop setting off fireworks.
‘NYPD from the 104th precinct were there but did nothing,’ claimed Silwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels.
He told the New York Post that the group will begin patrolling the park starting at 6pm on Saturday.
Curtis Sliwa, the longshot Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, said the firefighter was attacked when he asked the teens to stop setting off firework
According to data from the NYPD, there were 484 incidents of felony assault in New York City for the week of July 12 to July 18. That number is down 3 per cent from the same recording period last year.
However, felony assaults so far this year were up 5.9 per cent by July 18 compared to the same date last year. There have been 11,550 incidents of felony assault this year, with 10,906 last year.
Misdemeanor assaults were up 10.7 per cent from 684 in 2020 to 757 in 2021 for the week of July 12 to July 18, the data shows.
So far this year there have been 18,333 misdemeanor assaults compared to 18,312 last year, a 0.1 per cent increase.
It was not immediately clear whether – if any of the teens are ultimately arrested – they would be charged with either felony or misdemeanor assault for the attack.