STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Criminal charges against a firefighter who allegedly threatened to “kill” colleagues he claimed had mistreated him over his religious faith will be dropped in six months if he stays out of trouble and continues mental-health treatment.
Raheem Hassan’s case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal during his appearance Wednesday in Criminal Court.
Hassan, 30, a Staten Island resident, was arrested on Dec. 27 and accused of making a threatening call to his supervising officer at a Dongan Hills home on Dec. 20, said a criminal complaint.
“This is Hassan. I’m going to kill the guys in the firehouse,” the suspect said, according to the complaint.
Hassan worked for the officer for about four years, and the supervisor recognized his voice, the complaint said.
Hassan was charged with a misdemeanor count of aggravated harassment, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail on a trial conviction.
Public records indicate Hassan lives in Willowbrook.
The firefighter was assigned to Engine 309/Ladder 159 on E. 48th Street in Brooklyn, which, at the time, was allegedly being investigated for hazing, bullying, threats and sexual misconduct, according to the New York Daily News.
Hassan, a Muslim, reported that his fellow firefighters were tormenting him over his religious beliefs, the News said.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro transferred six fire officers and two firefighters out of that firehouse, said published reports.
However, the president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association said the officers hadn’t been disciplined, and were merely removed “to expedite the investigation,” said a report in the New York Post.
In an e-mail on Wednesday, a Fire Department spokesman said an “outside agency” is handling the probe and declined further comment.
At Thursday’s court proceeding, Judge Alan J. Meyer adjourned the case to Aug. 27.
The harassment charge will be dismissed on that date if Hassan continues with the mental-health treatment he is receiving through the Fire Department and also stays out of trouble, said prosecutors.
Hassan has not been suspended over his arrest, the FDNY spokesman said.
If he’s undergoing mental health treatment, and threatened his NYFD colleagues, maybe the Navy should investigate whether he’s fit to serve: via Department of Investigation probing Muslim firefighter’s bullying claims | New York Post
Hassan, who is in the Navy Reserve, wore his military uniform to court.
Hassan claimed his colleagues served him pasta sauce spiked with pork and cooked his food in bacon grease — meats his religion forbids him to eat.
The source alleged some colleagues humiliated Hassan as he slept, taking photos of their genitals next to his face and sharing them in text messages.
“There was always tension. He didn’t make waves, but when they started playing with his food, he complained about it to the powers that be,” the insider said.
During food shopping, some colleagues refused Hassan’s request for chicken, saying that “it was $1 more than pork.”
The hostility got physical, with “several fights” erupting between Hassan and other firefighters, the source said.
The bad blood boiled over on Dec. 20, when an off-duty Hassan called his supervisor, Lt. David Hughes.
Afterward, Hughes called police and claimed Hassan had told him, “I’m going to kill the guys in the firehouse,” according to a criminal complaint.
The firehouse was briefly shut down that day, sources said.
Hassan was arrested on Dec. 27 on Staten Island, where he made the call, and charged with misdemeanor aggravated harassment.
Interviewed by a detective, Hassan described his statements differently.
“All I did was call my fire officer and tell him I wanted to hurt myself and the people who are hurting me,” he said, according to records.
The criminal case against Hassan ended quietly Wednesday during a brief proceeding in Staten Island Criminal Court.
The Staten Island District Attorney’s Office granted him an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal in which the charge will be dropped and the case sealed in six months if he stays out of trouble and continues counseling.