Thursday, 4:30 PM
Firefighters attacked while directing traffic
(Globe Staff/Justine Hunt)
Fire Lt. Chris Corwin nurses wounds sustained in attack outside Charlestown station
By David Abel, GLOBE STAFF
It was late Sunday when the tractor-trailer pulled up to Charlestown’s Sullivan Square fire station, a routine stop for truck drivers who get lost trying to navigate the nearby rotary.
Lieutenant Chris Corwin and Firefighter Daniel Donahoe gave the driver directions, and started helping him back up the 18-wheeler when a sedan tried to sneak around the rear of the truck. When Corwin asked the driver to wait, the driver started swearing, telling Corwin he would run him over if he did not move, Corwin said.
Then, four men wearing New York Yankee caps, all believed to be in their 20s, rushed out of the car and began beating Corwin, hitting him with a club of some sort and kicking him, Corwin and Donahoe said. Corwin received at least 14 stitches, a broken eye socket, and other bruises and spent the night at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"I don’t know where these guys were coming from, or what was their problem," said Corwin, 42, an 18-year veteran who was recovering Monday night at his home in Weymouth. "Firefighters aren’t a threat to anybody; we’re there to help. I think this an extreme example of road rage, and the lack of respect some people have in society."
Police, who were called after the attack, said Monday night that they had not arrested any suspects and could not identify the make of the car the men fled in about 11:30 p.m., after Donahoe jumped into the melee and began pulling the assailants off Corwin.
"If it wasn’t for Donahoe, I don’t know what would have happened," Corwin said in a telephone interview. "I hold him in the highest regard."
Donahoe, a 24-year-old rookie who has been a firefighter for about 10 months, said he was hit on the head several times. Aside from pain in his hands, he said he’s fine and has returned to duty.
"We deal with things every day, and we have to be ready for everything, but I never thought we’d have to be ready for this," said Donahoe. "We’re there to save people; there’s no reason they should be attacking us. Things like this shouldn’t happen."