Firefighter under fire for Facebook comments

Posted: Updated:
HOLBROOK -

A veteran firefighter from Holbrook is taking heat for a social media post about the deaths of two men who police say were intentionally run down by a driver over a stolen dirt bike.

Holbrook firefighter John Paul Brechter’s controversial remark showed up on the News 12 Long Island Facebook page. His comment said the driver accused of running the two young men down “should be given a medal” and referred to the victims with an expletive. It also said “when this country was great, the penalty for stealing someone's horse was death by hanging." It was followed by the initials of the Donald Trump campaign slogan "Make America Great Again."

Newsday reports that the department has now suspended him. Neighbor Anita Messina says Brechter has helped the community for years and shouldn't be punished too harshly.

“He's saved very many people of lives," says Messina.

Another neighbor, however, said he trusts the fire department’s decision.

“The fire department, I support 110 percent,” he said.

Christopher Bouchard, the accused driver in the story Brechter commented on, has been charged in the deaths of Keenan King, of Shirley, and Anthony Holmes-Garriques, of North Bellport.

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