Suspect arrested in deadly FDNY road rage incident
A suspect wanted in connection to the road rage murder of an FDNY firefighter in the Bath Beach area was taken into custody on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, the New York/New Jersey Task Force and NYPD arrested 29-year-old Joseph Desmond in a motel in New Jersey. Desmond was wanted in connection to the death of 33-year-old Faizal Coto.
According to authorities, Coto — a three-year member of the FDNY who was also a rapper, using the stage name FAIYA — was killed on Sunday, Dec. 9 at around 4:47 a.m. following a fender-bender between Coto’s car and another vehicle on the eastbound Belt Parkway at the Fourth Avenue ramp.
The two cars pulled over to the side of the road near 14th Avenue and Bay Eighth Street, where Coto was found laying on the ground next to his car with trauma to his face and head.
EMS rushed him to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
According to ABC 7, the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma of the head, and Coto’s death was officially ruled a homicide.
“Our borough joins together in mourning the terrible death of @FDNY Firefighter Faizal Coto, a #Brooklyn resident who worked out of Engine 245/Ladder 161 in #ConeyIsland,” tweeted Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “This was a senseless tragedy that demands a resolution of justice.”
Desmond was tracked thanks to a surveillance image of his car, an Infiniti with license plate JEA 2402.
No charges have yet been brought against Desmond, but on Tuesday, Dec. 11, starting around 11 a.m., a portion of the Belt Parkway near the scene of the crime was closed as sources say the NYPD combed the area for evidence.
“Eastbound Belt Parkway between 4th Avenue and Bay 8th Street is closed due to police activity,” NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan tweeted, “Additionally, there is no access to the Belt Parkway from the Verrazano [sic] Bridge.”
Additional reporting by Christina Carrega.