FDNY EMT David Taranto charged with third-degree sexual abuse

An FDNY EMT fondled a female car crash victim and tried to insinuate himself into a romance with her in the days following the wreck, police allege.

Police say David Taranto, 31, of the 200 block of Kiswick Street in Midland Beach, took liberties with a middle-aged female who had gotten into a crash on West Cedarview Avenue and Kensico Street in Richmond on May 16.

The woman was shaken up in the crash, and once she was in an ambulance, Taranto took his stethoscope, placed it underneath her shirt, and cupped her breast in his hand, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.

He told her she had a "beautiful body," the source said, and accompanied her to the hospital, staying with her for three hours.

At one point, the source said, he took her cell phone and called his own number with it. Over the next few days, he called her and sent her texts, inviting her to his house, the source said. She told him that she was uncomfortable with the contact, and contacted authorities, the source said.

Police arrested Taranto yesterday afternoon, charging him with a single count of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, said Peter N. Spencer, a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
FDNY spokesman Steve Ritea said Taranto, who’s a seven-year EMT veteran assigned to Staten Island, has been suspended without pay for 30 days following the arrest.

NYC Police say a man has died following a fight outside of a pool hall in Brentwood.It happened early Sunday morning just before 2am at the Fiesta Pool Hall on Suffolk Avenue. Police say they got a 911 call about a fight outside the business and when they arrived, they found a man with head trauma.

A second man, Ramiro Garcia, was also injured and taken to the hospital by FDNY EMS where he is listed in critical condition.

Bloomberg Defends FDNY Cuts, Says "People Are Afraid Of Change
Mayor Bloomberg defended his proposal to save $55 million by closing 20 engine and ladder companies in the five boroughs. On his weekly radio address today, Bloomberg said response times and fire deaths are at a new low, and New Yorkers are only protesting because "people are afraid of change."

The Mayor added "firefighting has changed over the last century," and "a lot of this gets ginned up by people pandering to small constituencies." When asked who is responsible for the funding shortfall, Bloomberg said "Albany is the one that cut all our money." What do you say?

What's your reaction to Mayor Bloomberg defending his plan to close fire companies? Given the improvement in fire safety statistics, do you trust the decision won't jeopardize lives? Are you pointing the finger of blame at Albany or City Hall?