The March death of a 55-year-old man who was allegedly punched by an off-duty firefighter during a drunken brawl outside a Queens bar has been ruled a homicide, the NYPD said Thursday.
Devin Deegan and 35-year-old Justin Deieso, a seven-year FDNY firefighter and former Marine, according to the Daily News, allegedly got into a drunken fight at the Terrace Inn Bar right after closing time on Saturday, March 27. It wasn't exactly clear what prompted the dispute, but Deiseo allegedly punched Deegan in the head.
Deegan fell and hit his head on the pavement. Officers responding to the 911 call found him with "trauma to the back of his head." He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
His official cause of death has not been released. Deiseo was charged with assault after the brawl. It's not clear if charges could be upgraded now that the case has been classified as a homicide. At the time of his initial arrest, the FDNY said Deiseo had been suspended without pay amid an ongoing departmental investigation.
Deiseo's attorney has claimed his client acted in self-defense, the Daily News reported.