Justin Deieso FDNY firefighter arrested after Queens bar fight leads to local, Devin Deegan falling to the ground and fatally striking his head.
An off duty NYC firefighter has claimed self defense in a weekend bar brawl outside a Queens venue that led to him punching a man who then fell backwards, fatally striking his head on the pavement according to reports.
Justin Deieso, 35, of Whitestone, N.Y was arrested and charged with third degree assault, though those charges could be elevated to murder depending on the results of a pending autopsy, police said.
Deieso, a seven-year FDNY veteran at Ladder Company 122 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, allegedly got into a fist fight with victim, Devin Deegan, 55, behind the Terrace Inn Bar & Grill on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Whitestone, police said.
Cops arrived at 4 a.m, Saturday morning and found Deegan, of Flushing, lying on the pavement with trauma to the back of his head, police said.
Witnesses described the victim striking his head hard on the pavement upon falling to the ground as he was struck by the firefighter.
The man was observed going into cardiac arrest at the scene the nypost reports.
Deegan was taken to Flushing Hospital Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Deegan worked as a steamfitter specializing in waterproofing and roofing.
Deiseo — who records show made $85,292 with the FDNY in 2020 — was arrested at the scene.
‘He’s a good-hearted, community-minded Marine for his country,’
The firefighter who was released without bail following a brief court appearance on Saturday, according to neighbors, has since said the episode left him ‘devastated,’ the nydailynews reports.
Deieso was described as being a former Marine who applied to be both a cop and a firefighter after his military service, ending up with the FDNY.
‘He’s a good-hearted, community-minded Marine for his country,’ a woman by the name of Annie, who described herself as a friend told the nydailynews. ‘He’s a Marine, he’s a firefighter, he pulls people out of buildings. … This is a heartbreaker for us.’
Neighbors referred to Deegan who lived close to the bar as the neighborhood nice guy who spent a large portion of his life caring for his ailing parents who died in the early 2000′s.
‘He liked to go fishing, he did gardening, he liked animals — you know, he was just an all-around good guy, nice person to know,’ said a neighbor who asked not to be named according to the nydailynews. ‘My kids liked him. Everybody liked Devin.’
Those who live and work nearby said the neighborhood is quiet — but not the bar.
‘If it’s from the bar, it’s typical because in the past there have been fights and people being drunk,’ dentist, Dr. Marielena Diakogiannis told via the nypost.
‘They have beer cans strewn around,’ she said.
‘There are times when they are sitting in front of your building and they are drunk,’ she complained.
‘It’s sad to see this happening in such a nice neighborhood.’