Volunteer NJ EMT dismissed after saying he'd shoot protesters

Matthew Kronyak, a former member of Carlstadt's volunteer Board of Health, was removed after posting "racist" and "threatening" comments, the borough said in a statement


Anthony G. Attrino
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

CARLSTADT, N.J. — An emergency medical technician in Bergen County was removed from his position after he made racist and threatening comments on Facebook about Black Lives Matter protesters in Carlstadt, officials said Friday.

“I told them I’d shoot and then kneel on their neck! Ha ha,” former EMT Matthew Kronyak wrote, according to screenshots provided to NBC News.

Carlstadt officials on Friday said they dismissed Kronyak from his volunteer position after they were made aware of the comments, which were posted online after a peaceful rally in the borough in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“(Kronyak) used his personal social media to make racist, and threatening comments to participants of that rally,” the borough said in a statement.

“This behavior is unacceptable and the individual has been removed from his volunteer position effective immediately,” the borough said.

Kronyak, who was an appointed member of Carlstadt’s volunteer Board of Health, hung up on a reporter who called his home for comment Saturday morning.

According to his LinkedIn page, Kronyak is a borough resident and had been an EMT since 2008, once serving as president of the Carlstadt Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Kronyak posted his comments – which have since been deleted – after a peaceful protest march on Thursday afternoon that began at the Village Green Park in Carlstadt and ended at the East Rutherford Municipal Building on Paterson Avenue in East Rutherford.

Facebook screenshots posted to Twitter show that Kronyak described those protests as “A BIG NOTHING.”

“About 80 people, if that many, it was a waste of time,” he wrote. “At least 3/4 of the people weren’t from town, no one faces discrimination here, even the ‘speakers’ said so.”

In another post, protester Abhi Shah told Kronyak that protesters “did not want to be hateful or show anger.”

“If you’d like, I would love to discuss this further with you,” Shah wrote. “Feel free to message me; we all need to learn a little bit more about our neighbors.”

In response, Kronyak wrote: “Are you a muslim? If so, nuff said terrorist.”

The Carlstadt Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the borough police department on Friday condemned Kronyak’s comments in a Facebook post of their own.

“Actions and words that are contrary to our core values that are expressed by individuals actively or formerly in our organization are not representative of our organization,” they said in the post.

“We do not condone this behavior and will investigate any incidents that can be considered hate speech. We will take deliberate action to ensure that equal opportunity care will be upheld by our members for the safety of our community.”

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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