Off-duty FDNY EMT accused of assaulting cop after crash gave warning, prosecutors say

“Do you want a headbutt?” EMT Nicholas McGowan asked, according to court documents


Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — An off-duty FDNY EMT accused of headbutting an NYPD cop after being arrested for a drunken crash gave the officer fair warning, Staten Island prosecutors said Wednesday.

“Do you want a headbutt?” EMT Nicholas McGowan — the son of two retired NYPD officers — asked the cop processing him at the 120th Precinct stationhouse early Tuesday before allegedly slamming his forehead into the side of the officer’s skull, according to court papers.

EMT Nicholas McGowan, 27, was facing drunk driving charges when he allegedly attacked the cop.
EMT Nicholas McGowan, 27, was facing drunk driving charges when he allegedly attacked the cop. (Photo/Tribune News Service)

McGowan, 27, was facing drunk driving charges when he attacked the cop, leaving the officer with a bruised face. The officer was taken to Staten Island University Hospital North where he was treated and released.

Cops responding to a minor collision on Dewey Ave. and Giffords Lane in Great Kills 1 a.m. Tuesday found McGowan standing outside his vehicle.

Although he appeared drunk, McGowan claimed he had fallen asleep behind the wheel before the crash.

“I fell asleep! That’s not a crime!” he told arresting officers. “I was coming from work and I fell asleep!”

McGowan refused to take a breathalyzer test and headbutted the cop after being brought to the stationhouse, court papers state. He was charged with assaulting an officer, DWI, harassment and driving while ability impaired.

“FDNY EMT Nick McGowan is in the business of saving lives and is deeply saddened by his arrest, as are his parents who both retired from the NYPD,” McGowan’s attorney, Oliver Storch, said in a statement.

“First responders are caring human beings who sometimes require help themselves. We ask the public to withhold judgment until all the issues are addressed in the appropriate forum and hope that the NYPD officer is OK.”

Prosecutors noted McGown was previously busted for drunk driving on Staten Island on Nov. 16, 2016. He was also arrested for assaulting a police officer at the 2015 Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day parade, police sources said.

A Staten Island Criminal Court judge ordered McGown held on $15,000 bail during a brief arraignment proceeding late Tuesday.

McGowan joined EMS in October 2020 and was currently assigned to Station 55 in the Bronx. He was suspended by the FDNY after his arraignment.

___

©2022 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2022 EMS1. All rights reserved.