NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An off-duty firefighter tried to be a good Samaritan and instead ended up in the hospital.
The NYPD said he was brutally beaten by a group of teenagers and now cops are trying to track them down, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Tuesday.
The hunt is one for three boys and three girls believed to be between the ages of 15 and 17.
“It makes me really sad that someone would do that to someone,” one New Yorker said.
According to police, the incident happened at around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday on East 86th Street between Second and Third avenues. The group was deliberately cutting in front of an elderly couple, making it hard for them to share the sidewalk.
John Mongiello, a 38-year-old off-duty FDNY firefighter, allegedly told them to cut it out. Police said he was then punched, pushed to the ground and hit repeatedly.
“They’re being raised with no … treating people with no respect anymore. It’s heartbreaking,” said Kristina Silva, who works on the Upper West Side.
Mongiello was beaten so badly he suffered a concussion and his teeth were broken. He was taken to Columbia Hospital, Cline-Thomas reported.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez spoke off camera with Mongiello’s parents, who said his good Samaritan heroics Saturday are in his nature. They said that’s who he has always been and why he chose to be a firefighter.
Other people were sickened by what happened to him.
“Crazy. Kids 15 to 17 do stupid things,” Upper East Side resident John Conte said. “I mean, you can’t really get away with anything anymore. They’re going to be found and prosecuted.”
Whatever the consequences.
“There should be something has to be done to teach them you can’t go around doing that. You just can’t,” Silva said.
Silva said arrests should send a clear message to the kids and their parents to keep this from ever happening again.
Mongiello is now resting at home, Sanchez reported.
His neighbors were singing his praises.
“He’s a very good guy,” one said, adding when asked if Mongiello’s actions surprised him, “No, it doesn’t at all.”
Police are hoping a clear video will help bring the kids in and send a message that disrespect for elders and authority will land you no where but in trouble.