Press Release

NEW YORK CITY FIREFIGHTERS ASSAULTED WHILE RESPONDING TO EMERGENCY CALL

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Clarence Smith, 37, has been arraigned on assault charges for allegedly attacking two New York City Firefighters. The firefighters were responding to an emergency call in the early afternoon on Monday, February 22.

District Attorney Melinda Katz said that, “On every call, firefighters and EMTs put themselves in danger to protect and treat others. While fulfilling their emergency services duty, the two victims were allegedly pounced on by this defendant in an unprovoked attack. Their safety is a priority to me and this Office.”

Smith, of 35th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, was arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Michelle Johnson on a complaint charging him with assault in the second degree and harassment in the second degree. Judge Johnson ordered the defendant to return to Court on March 29, 2021. If convicted, Smith faces up to 7 years in prison.

District Attorney Katz said, according to the charges, on February 22, 2021, at approximately 2:20 p.m., the firefighters were responding to an emergency call at 41-03 10th Street. While giving medical assistance to an individual, the defendant approached one of the firefighters and yelled at her to “get out of the way.” He then allegedly grabbed the first responder, pushed her against a wall repeatedly and took a swing at her.

Continuing, said the DA, a second firefighter approached Smith to intervene. Seconds later, he too became embroiled in a physical scuffle with the defendant. Smith allegedly forced this firefighter against a wall and spit in his face.

Both firefighters were taken to a local Queens hospital where they were treated for their injuries and released. The defendant later surrendered to police at the 114th Precinct.

Assistant District Attorney Victoria LaGreca, of the District Attorney’s Felony Trial Bureau III, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Rachel Buchter, Bureau Chief, Peter Lomp, Deputy Bureau Chief, Christine McCoy, Unit Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Trials Pishoy Yacoub.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.