Firefighter found dead on side of Belt Parkway, officials say

The 33-year-old off-duty firefighter died from blunt force trauma to the head, the medical examiner said.

The death of an off-duty firefighter who was found lying on the ground outside his car on the Belt Parkway over the weekend was ruled a homicide on Monday, according to the city’s medical examiner.

The 33-year-old firefighter, identified by FDNY officials as Faizal Coto, was found with face and head trauma lying outside his Ford Mustang on the right shoulder of the eastbound side of the highway just before 4:45 a.m. on Sunday.

Police said he appeared to be beaten with an object and the medical examiner said his death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

Police were looking for a gray or silver 2006 Infiniti G35 with damage to the driver’s side of the vehicle that had collided with Coto’s car as it came off the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Both drivers pulled over and Coto appeared to be beaten, cops said. It wasn’t immediately clear what object he was beaten with.

The suspect’s vehicle, with a New York license plate JEA 2402, later fled eastbound. The Infiniti appeared to be registered to a known member of the Latin Kings, police said. 

Coto, who had been with the FDNY for three years, was taken to a hospital in Coney Island where he was pronounced dead.

Alison Fox