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2 NYC firefighters charged in Brooklyn bar brawl

Police are investigating a huge bar brawl that the FDNY allegedly started at a Brooklyn bar.
February 25, 2010 2:51:22 PM PST
Two FDNY firefighters are facing serious charges related to a bar brawl in Brooklyn.They are accused of critically beating a man and injuring three others at the Salty Dog bar in Bay Ridge.

It was a dark, wet and cold walk into the Brooklyn District Attorney's office for firefighters Michael Reilly and Ryan Warnock Thursday morning.

The 45-year-old Reilly and 32-year-old Warnock, both from Engine 310, Ladder 174, turned themselves in around 6 a.m. The pair is accused of attacking and beating 31-year old Sinan Selmani and his cousins around 2 a.m. on January 30.

The alleged victims' civil attorney says they are glad the investigation has made progress.

"They're grateful," Joe Tacopina said. "And the way we look at it, it is just the first step in the process of holding all accountable who are responsible."

The DA used surveillance video from the bar to identify off-duty and retired firefighters involved in the alleged assault.

"At times, it was seven and 10 against one individual," Tacopina said. "The video is nauseating."

Eyewitness News obtained exclusive surveillance from that night, minutes after the alleged assault, just a few doors down from the bar.

The men in the video appear to be standing on the sidewalk, re-enacting punches possibly thrown during the melee that sent Selmani to the hospital.

"He's not in good shape," Tacopina said of Selmani. "There's multiple concussions, torn ligaments, fractures in the shoulder, damage to the eye socket."

Warnock, a 9-year veteran, and Reilly, a 13-year veteran, have both been suspended for 30 days without pay. They are each charged with one count of felony riot and one count misdomeanor assault.

A third firefighter, Christopher Emmel, initially surrendered before being released from custody. He had an alibi supported by the other two and may be the victim of mistaken identity. Additionally, a witness reportedly failed to pick him out of a lineup.

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