Firefighter Charged With Assaulting Cop Was Accused of Choking Girlfriend
QUEENS — A firefighter facing charges for assaulting a Forest Hill off-duty police officer and trying to steal his gun, was arrested two years ago for beating and choking his girlfriend, the authorities said.
Angel Valerio, 30, was accused of assaulting and trying to rob the cop on June 30, on Austin Street, just steps from the 112th Precinct where the officer worked, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.
In December 2011 Valerio was busted for knocking his girlfriend to the ground at his Brooklyn apartment, punching and choking her and tossing her against the wall, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said.
A neighbor who heard the woman screaming ran downstairs, interrupting the alleged assault, which allowed the woman to escape to the neighbor's apartment and call the police, the DA's office said.
Valerio, who reportedly has spent five years with the FDNY, originally faced misdemeanor assault, criminal obstruction of breathing and menacing charges.
He pleaded guilty in July 2012 to misdemeanor harassment charges and was given a conditional discharge, the Brooklyn DA’s office said.
An order of protection was issued as part of the plea agreement, but it was not clear if it was still in effect.
It was also not clear if the case affected his job status at the FDNY.
The Fire Department has not responded to an e-mail sent Monday night requesting additional information about either case.
Valerio was arrested last Friday and charged with assault, attempted robbery and attempted criminal possession of a weapon for trying to grab the cop's gun.
Despite the officer identifying himself as an cop and trying to call 911, Valerio and four other men kept pummeling him, according to the criminal complaint. They also allegedly tried to take his service weapon.
He was freed after paying $1,000 bail and is due back in court on July 29.
Valerio's lawyer and the Uniformed Firefighters Association did not immediately respond to calls for comment.