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Police Car Window Broken In Police-Firefighter Dispute

November 3, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ A festering dispute between the city’s police and firefighters spilled onto a street when a police car struck two firefighters and a fire lieutenant shattered the car’s rear window.

The police and fire departments have been engaged in a feud over who is in charge at the scenes of emergencies.

Police and fire officials gave differing accounts of the incident Monday night.

Assistant Fire Commissioner John Mulligan said members of Ladder Co. 33 answered a fire alarm - ultimately deemed false - but found the Bronx street outside the address filled with police cars.

One car, he said, was parked in front of a fire hydrant and fire Capt. James Gallagher asked that it be moved so a fire engine could hook up.

When the driver backed away, the car hit two firefighters, Mulligan said. They were not seriously hurt.

Fire Department Lt. Peter LoCastro banged on the car’s trunk with a large flashlight, and when the car moved backward he accidentally struck the rear window and broke it, Mulligan said.

The police account, according to officer Louis Llanes, involved a search for robbery suspects on the block.

Llanes said that when firefighters arrived, two police cars were double parked, and that they were moved when a Fire Department supervisor asked officers to do so.

He said an argument developed, the police car’s rear window was smashed and ″two firefighters claimed injury as they were brushed″ by the police car.

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