What to Know
- An off-duty firefighter who was found lying on the shoulder of a New York City highway with head trauma has died
- Faizal Coto, 33, was found lying next to a vehicle on the shoulder of the Belt Parkway early Sunday morning
- Coto was taken to Coney Island Hospital with head trauma, where he was pronounced dead
Law enforcement sources say authorities have arrested the suspect in connection with the death of an off-duty FDNY firefighter who police believe was the victim of road rage on a Brooklyn highway.
The male suspect was tracked down and arrested at a motel in New Jersey, according to the sources. He was cuffed at the Circle Inn on Victory Plaza in South Amboy by U.S. Marshals and the NYPD.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office identified the man as Joseph Desmond. He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick and is expected to appear in court Friday, prosecutors said.
It is unclear whether his girlfriend is under arrest or facing charges.
Officers responded to a 911 call reporting a car accident on the eastbound side of the Belt Parkway, near Bay 8th Street and Shore Parkway in Bath Beach, at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the NYPD said. The vehicles had collided at merge.
When officers got to the scene, they discovered 33-year-old Faizal Coto, lying next to a 2008 Ford Mustang parked on the right shoulder of the highway. The other vehicle had left.
Coto was taken to Coney Island Hospital with head trauma, where he was pronounced dead.
Police believe Coto got out of his car to talk to another driver after the fender bender, then that driver struck him in the head with an unknown object.
Police said they were looking for a gray or silver 2006 Infiniti G35 with damage to the driver's side of the vehicle and a New York license plate number JEA 2402.
Coto had been with the FDNY for three years, the department said. He was assigned to a Coney Island engine company.
The AP reports he was also an aspiring rapper and hip-hop artist performing under the name FAIYA. The bio on FAIYA's website says he was a published poet at age 11 and a former model.