Firefighter tries to defend elderly couple, gets brutally beaten up by group of teens

An off-duty firefighter was brutally attacked by a group of teens Saturday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, police say.

Three male and three female teenagers were harassing an elderly couple when John Mongiello, 38, stepped in and tried to make them stop.

When the FDNY firefighter told them to leave the elderly couple alone, things allegedly took a violent turn


According to authorities, the group of teens deliberately cut in front of an elderly couple, making it hard for the couple to share the sidewalk on East 86th Street between Second and Third avenues.

When John Mongiello stepped in and tried to make them stop the group turned on him, punching him, knocking him to the ground, and continuing to strike him.

Surveillance video captured the assault.

Sadly, John Mongiello was badly hurt. He lost five teeth, suffered a concussion, and required 25 stitches to close a head wound, according to the NY Daily News. 

He was treated at a local hospital and later released.

“He saw somebody in trouble and he thought he could help them, and now he’s suffering for it,” the firefighter’s mother told NY Daily News.

“He was off-duty, but he was acting to keep the peace of New York City, which is his job. Even though he’s hurt, I’m extremely proud of him. He was trying to help somebody else, and anybody would be proud of a son who did that. But my heart breaks to look at him.“

Many residents and workers said they were upset with what happened. John’s parents said he’s recovering from his injuries.

Asked members of the public to come forward

The suspects are believed to be between 15 and 17 years old, according to the NYPD.

“They’re being raised with no … treating people with no respect anymore. It’s heartbreaking,” Kristina Silva, who works on the Upper West Side, told CBS New York.

“There should be something has to be done to teach them you can’t go around doing that. You just can’t.”

“Crazy. Kids 15 to 17 do stupid things,” Upper East Side resident John Conte added. “I mean, you can’t really get away with anything anymore. They’re going to be found and prosecuted.”

The New York Police Department asked members of the public to come forward with tips that will help officers find the teens.

This is what lack of manners and respect for others looks like. I hope they pay for their deeds.

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