At their daughter’s wake on Monday, the parents of the FDNY paramedic who was killed in a stabbing in Queens approached Mayor Eric Adams and urged that he do something about the city’s escalating crime epidemic.
Outside the Commack Abbey Funeral Home, where Frank and Catherine Fuocco were grieving the loss of their daughter, Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy told The Post, “Her mom and dad basically took the mayor on.”
Most of the conversation was initiated by Catherine Fuocco, who told the ex-NYPD officer-turned-Mayor, “You know what to do.”
Is it true that you spent 30 years patrolling the streets as a police officer? Apparently, Catherine shared this information with Adams, as Kennedy explains.
Catherine stated to Adams, “You know what to do” after hearing his affirmative response.
According to Kennedy, the mother pleaded, “Give me back my city.”
Polite people were saying things like, “Make my city better, make my city better,” which is what we’re always saying. Adams just stood there, expressionless. Finally, he murmured a few words that seemed to reassure and accept what had been stated to him, Kennedy said.
There was no holding back, according to an EMS worker who saw the encounter unfold firsthand.
“There was fury, and there were jokes, but they absolutely let him have it,” the worker added.
“Our sympathies are with Lieutenant Alison Russo-family, Elling’s her fellow FDNY EMS colleagues, and with all New Yorkers who lost a really outstanding public servant lady to a horrible act of violence,” said Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy in a statement released on Monday night.
We grieve alongside the FDNY and will never forget Lt. Russo-courage Elling’s and dedication to duty.
Despite the rain on Monday, hundreds of mourners came to pay their respects to Russo-Elling, who was brutally murdered a block from her EMS station on Thursday as she was out to lunch.
Prosecutors say they have obtained a confession from Peter Zisopoulos, who is in detention and undergoing a mental assessment, and have charged him with second-degree murder.
Some FDNY personnel held flowers and wore purple and black ribbons on their jacket lapels as they stood in a line that wrapped around the corner of the funeral home and down Fairfield Way.
There were also police officers and paramedics from New York City, Suffolk County, and the state of New York.
Lt. Allison Russo, a hero and a 25-year veteran of our department, is being honored today by her fellow officers. We hope that through our presence today, her friends and coworkers will feel our solidarity with them. She left an indelible mark on everyone she worked with over the course of 25 years, FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens told reporters outside the funeral home.
She just led by example at all times. We are devastated by her passing and the manner in which she met it. She was respected by her colleagues, and she kept everyone at our station in order.
Affectionately, she was called “the mother hen of the EMS station.”
Two EMS personnel, one at the head and the other at the feet of Russo-coffin, Elling’s stood guard while two lines of mourners, one for family and friends and the other for FDNY members, took turns paying their respects inside the funeral home.
The room was decorated with a photo board of Russo-Elling meeting Mr. Met, playing golf, and hanging out with friends and family, as well as elaborate floral arrangements, some of which were meant to resemble like FDNY shields.
As interim FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh put it, “it’s a tremendously painful day, terribly hard day for her family,” she remarked during the wake.