Firefighters risk their lives daily for the public, but three teens don’t seem to appreciate that.
On Monday, Aug. 1, at around 2 a.m, three teenagers from Queens attempted to burglarize the FDNY firehouse in Jackson Heights while firefighters were responding to an emergency call.
A fire truck left the fire house at 81-17 Northern Blvd. with its sirens blaring. One of the suspects was seen climbing into a fenced-in area behind the fire house and entered through a second-floor window, the second suspect was seen standing on a near-by shed, while the third suspect stood on the sidewalk to look out for the two.
When police showed up, a firefighter was walking the first suspect out of the firehouse after finding him trespassing on the second floor of the firehouse. The second suspect was seen exiting the fenced-in area by the shed and meet up with the third suspect on the street.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown was appalled at the actions of these teens. “To many firefighters, the firehouse is a second home. In this case, the defendants are accused of knowingly trespassing that space with the intent of removing property,” said Brown. “More troubling, perhaps, is that they allegedly waited for firefighters to be sent out on a call – risking their lives to rescue people and save property – before breaking in.”
The identities of the teens have been revealed. They are Christian Gaguancella, 19, Steven Lopez, 18, both of Corona, and Luis Phunthusuntorn, 17, of Elmhurst. Each of them have been charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal trespass. If convicted, the three boys each face up to 7 years in prison.
The incident is still under investigation.