The parents of the FDNY paramedic fatally stabbed in Queens confronted Mayor Eric Adams at their daughter’s wake Monday and demanded he get control of the Big Apple’s spiraling crime crisis.
“Her mom and dad just took the mayor on,” said Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy, who witnessed the interaction, to The Post outside the Commack Abbey Funeral Home, where Frank and Catherine Fuocco were mourning their slain daughter, Lt. Alison Russo-Elling.
Catherine Fuocco did most of the talking, telling the former NYPD cop-turned-Hizzoner, “You know what to do.
“Weren’t you a police officer for 30 years?” Catherine told Adams, according to Kennedy.
When Adams replied “yes,” Catherine said, “You know what to do.
“Please, give me back my city,” the mom said, according to Kennedy.
“It was courteous — they were saying what we’re saying: ‘Make my city better, make my city better.’ [Adams] 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,” Kennedy said.
An EMS worker who also witnessed the confrontation said the elderly parents didn’t hold back.
“There was anger, and there was jokes, but they definitely let him have it,” the worker said.
In a Monday night statement, Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said: “Our hearts are with Lieutenant Alison Russo-Elling’s family, her fellow FDNY EMS members, and with all New Yorkers who lost a truly amazing public servant woman to a senseless act of violence.
“We will never forget Lt. Russo-Elling’s bravery and commitment to service as we mourn her loss along with the FDNY.”
Hundreds of mourners gathered in the rain Monday afternoon to attend the emotional wake for Russo-Elling, who was stabbed 19 times just a block away from her EMS station Thursday while she was out grabbing lunch.
Peter Zisopoulos, who is in custody and currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, allegedly confessed to the crime and was charged with second-degree murder, prosecutors said.
Dozens of uniformed members of the FDNY, some of whom were holding flowers and had purple and black ribbons on their jacket lapels, waited in a line that stretched down Fairfield Way to enter the funeral home and pay their respects.
Members of the NYPD, Suffolk County Police Department and state EMS workers were also in attendance.
“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 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.
“She was known as, affectionately, the mother hen of the EMS station.”
Inside the funeral home, two EMS workers stood guard by Russo-Elling’s casket, one by her head and the other by her feet, and two lines of mourners – one for family and friends and the other for FDNY members – took turns paying their respects.
Elaborate flower arrangements, some that were designed to look like FDNY shields, adorned the room alongside a picture board that showed Russo-Elling meeting Mr. Met, golfing and spending time with friends and family.
“It’s an incredibly hard day, an incredibly hard day for her family,” said acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, who was at the wake.
“You can imagine they are extraordinarily heartbroken as are we,” she said, referencing Russo-Elling’s family.
“Even as we celebrate her life, we’re still trying to wrap our minds around this senseless act that caused us to lose one of our own.”
texasstandard.news contributed to this report.