Greenlawn nursery owner: It was a 'mistake' to initially not allow firetrucks on property for fallen officer's wake
The owner of a nursery in Greenlawn is under fire after refusing to let firetrucks park on his property to hang a flag arch during the funeral procession of fallen NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos.
Tsakos was killed last month while redirecting traffic from the scene of a fatal collision in Queens. Police say he was struck by a driver, Jessica Beauvais, 32, of Hempstead, who was allegedly drunk and high behind the wheel, and was driving with a suspended license.
Conrad Decker, of Decker's Nursery, originally said no to helping because Pulaski Road is the only entrance into his nursery. Decker says customers wouldn't have been able to come in and out all day. In addition, delivery trucks wouldn't have been able to get on the property.
"The truth of the matter is I made a mistake," says Decker. "I recognize it was a mistake. We want to support the fire department."
A social media storm followed his decision, so Decker placed trucks at his nursery's entrance to protect his property. Decker says he found holes in his truck tires. He also says the social media posts that stated he blocked the fire department were not true.
"I'm not anti-police. I'm not anti-fire department," says Decker. "But my entire life's work is in this business. And losing a day during the busiest week of the year is something that I may not recover from."
Decker says he's very concerned about how people are perceiving him now. "My heart goes out to that family," says Decker.
The Greenlawn Fire Department posted on Facebook that Decker called in the morning to offer the use of this parking lot.