Two East Flatbush firefighters are each facing five years in prison now that they have been charged in the infamous Salty Dog brawl that left several Bay Ridge revelers badly beaten.
Police said that Firefighters Ryan Warnock, 32, and Michael Reilly, 45, surrendered with a third firefighter early morning on Thursday, February 25. The third firefighter, who was not named, was released after he could not be picked out in a lineup.
“[That firefighter] wasn’t there, but he was asked to come in for a lineup and he did” said one Fire Department source.
Investigators charged Warnock and Reilly with Riot 1 and assault in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, they could each face one-and-a third to four years for the riot charge and one year for the assault charge, according to prosecutors.
By late Thursday, the two firefighters had not been arraigned.
An FDNY spokesman said that both firefighters had been suspended for 30 days without pay. Warnock has been a firefighter for eight years. Reilly has put out fires for the city for 13 years.
Both were assigned to Snyder Avenue’s Engine 310 and Ladder 174, nicknamed “Snyder Island,” in East Flatbush back on January 29 when they and several others allegedly attacked a group of revelers at the Salty Dog, 7507 Third Avenue.
According to published reports, four friends were at the bar on the night in question when one of them knocked into a firefighter, spilling his drink.
That’s when upwards of a dozen active and non-active firefighters jumped the quartet. One of the men was dragging into a bathroom where he was viciously beaten.
All of the active firefighters were off duty at the time, officials said.
The victims initially did not want to press charges, but soon changed their minds after hiring lawyer Joe Tacopina, who is weighing the possibility of bringing a lawsuit.
Chad Seigel, Tacopina’s law partner, called the attack at the Salty Dog “unwarranted” and was gratified to learn that the Kings County District Attorney’s office has levied charges.
“We’re confident that this will send a resounding message that this type of needless brutality will not be tolerated, especially by those who are charged with protecting the public good,” said Seigel.
Firefighters involved in the brawl have repeatedly told reporters that they were merely “defending themselves.”