Coney Island Corner Will be Named for Killed Firefighter

Brooklyn Daily Eagle - August 09, 2019

“Everyone says everyone is ‘good’ when they pass away, but he was exceptional.”

Faizal Coto, the firefighter who was beaten to death on the Belt Parkway in December, will soon be memorialized with a dedicated intersection — just outside the firehouse where he was stationed.

The City Council voted on July 23 in support of an application to co-name the corner of West Eighth Street and Surf Avenue, just outside Engine 245/Ladder 161, “Firefighter Faizal Coto Way.”

Faizal Coto, then 33, was killed following a road-rage dispute with then-29-year-old Joseph Desmond.

Desmond, of Staten Island, is accused of fatally beating Coto with a blunt object after the pair got into a minor accident. Coto was found dead next to his 2008 Ford Mustang on the right shoulder of the Bay Eighth Street and Shore Parkway exit — his death “almost instant,” according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Police apprehended Desmond three days later at a motel in New Jersey. A crowd of firefighters awaited his walkout of the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst, where, instead of jeers, Desmond was met by heavy silence.

He pleaded not guilty to a murder charge later that month. His next court appearance is on Sept. 5. Desmond, who was already on parole for a 2012 assault-as-a-hate-crime, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Coto, who was also an aspiring rapper, was off-duty when he was killed.

The application for “Firefighter Faizal Coto Way” was introduced to the City Council by Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, who is glad to see his call come to pass.