Lt. Alison Russo-Elling of FDNY was stabbed 19 times and sent to her grave by an unprovoked man last Thursday less than a block away from the station where she worked.
The horrific attack went viral as Americans grew outraged by the senseless violence against a woman who dedicated her life to serving others, and helped in the rescue effort after 9/11.
The parents of the 24-year veteran courteously confronted Mayor Eric Adams at the wake Monday, according to the New York Post. If Adams is still decent and not cold-hearted from corruption, the mayor couldn’t have slept last night.
“Weren’t you a police officer for 30 years?” the lieutenant’s mother, Catherine Fuocco reportedly asked.
“Yes,” replied Adams.
“You know what to do. Please, give me back my city.”
Powerful words delivered from a heart full of loss. You can imagine the wordless, piercing gaze of the mourning father, Frank Fuocco. His daughter, Leslie, was 61 and only 6 months away from retirement. What could be a greater wake-up call than the penetrating words of 80-something parents, the light gone from their eyes at the loss of their daughter?
Today 25 year veteran EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was Murdered in the Line of Duty while attending to a patient.
The UFA and all members of the FDNY are Enraged at the senseless killing and ever increasing violence in our city.
It has to stop. pic.twitter.com/ngMxdUmOct
— FDNY UFA (@UFANYC) September 30, 2022
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling was retiring in 6 months.
She served us on September 11th.
Yesterday, she was brutally stabbed over 20 times by a madman who walked up to her while she was on duty.
New Yorkers have had enough of the violence on our streets. pic.twitter.com/GUFAMiZfAB
— Michael Henry (@michaelhenry4ag) September 30, 2022
Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy witnessed the interaction and spoke to the New York Post about it.
“Her mom and dad just took the mayor on,” said Kennedy outside the Commack Abbey Funeral Home. “It was courteous — they were saying what we’re saying: ‘Make my city better, make my city better.’”
Lt. Russo-Elling was one of the first responders at Ground Zero on 9/11/2001. Her colleagues said that she “dedicated her life to saving others.”
“There was anger, and there was jokes, but they definitely let him have it,” said an EMS worker who also witnessed the confrontation.
How did Mayor Adams respond? “He stood there, his face was flat. At the end, he said some brief statements that were comforting and accepting of what was said to him,” said Kennedy.
Russo-Elling was killed in a random attack on a food run in the daylight of the early afternoon, at 20th Avenue and 41st Street in Astoria. The attack was caught on video.
“She was working for this city,” said the mayor on the night of the attack, “She paid the ultimate sacrifice because of that.”
‘Sacrifice’ might not be the right word. Sacrifice is when you die in the act of saving someone. If this woman died as a sacrifice, many must feel it was a sacrifice to the uncivil, woke policies of a city and its mayor.
The attacker, Peter Zisopoulos, 34, allegedly slammed Russo-Elling to the ground, got on top of her, and commenced the violent stabbing. He was charged Friday with second-degree murder and weapons possession, after an apparent confession. He is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
Vincent Variale, the president of the Uniformed EMS Officers Union, speaking to the New York Post, seemed concerned that the defendant would be treated with kid gloves if he is found mentally incompetent.
“He’s not insane. He stabbed a hero, and he knew that he did wrong because he ran away after he did it. That tells me he understood what he did was wrong,” said Variale. “We’re here to send a message to the court that we don’t want this man back on the streets. The only justice is if he stays in jail for the rest of his life because he’s a murderer.”
On Monday, members of the FDNY lined up in uniform with purple and black ribbons on their lapels, some holding flowers, to pay their respects.
“The department is here today to pay tribute to Lt. Allison Russo, who was a hero, a 25-year veteran of our department. We’re here to show support for her family and colleagues. By all accounts, she made a lasting impression on everybody she’s worked with for 25 years,” FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens told reporters outside the funeral home.
“She was known as, affectionately, the mother hen of the EMS station… She just always led by example. We are so sad at the way she died and also just to lose her. Members in our station looked up to her, and she kept them in line.”
Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh was also at the wake. “It’s an incredibly hard day, an incredibly hard day for her family,” she said.
“We will never forget Lt. Russo-Elling’s bravery and commitment to service as we mourn her loss along with the FDNY,” said Fabien Levy, spokesman for Eric Adams, in a statement.
Let’s hope there is action behind those words. After a mayoral campaign full of bravado about getting crime under control, Adams has been a no-show, continuing the crime-encouraging policies of his disgusting predecessor, whose name should be in the ash heap of the worst mayors in history. If this isn’t a wake-up call for someone many think is a decent man, nothing will be.
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