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The New York Post’s Susan Edelman and Candice M. Giove, the same reporters who broke the FDNY EMS social media scandal stories, are again focusing on FDNY. But this time they are looking at FDNY “wannabes” in an article titled “Culture of FDNY groupies rages out of control as ‘badge bunny’ obsession turns scary”. Women who want to date New York City’s bravest and men who apparently want to be firefighters so badly that they become obsessed.
Sunday’s article focuses on 34-year-old Christine Cuocolo, an IRS employee, and two men she associated with who are fire buffs, Gary Battista and Scott Main. It’s a detailed article that shows a really dark side that resulted in pictures of firefighters wives and children being posted online, threats of physical harm to specific firefighters and even threats to blow up a firehouse.
Here’s an excerpt to get you started, but make sure you read the whole article:
Some buffs listen to scanners and chase sirens, taking spectacular action shots of blazes to display as trophies. “You guys are sooo awesome,” a female fan recently cooed on one page.
Cuocolo, who showed off a scanner, crafted YouTube videos and slide shows lovingly depicting her favorite engine companies.
She brought plates of cookies to firehouses to “show support because I respect them,” Cuocolo told The Post.
She also confessed to crushes on firefighters at Engine 65 on 43rd Street off Sixth Avenue — and a desire to date them.
But Cuocolo popped by so often — she also brought flowers and memorial plaques for the fallen — the crews grew uneasy. FDNY rules permit visitors inside firehouses only during “open houses”; they can’t just hang out.
When the firefighters finally told Cuocolo to stop the surprise visits and Facebook postings, her adoration twisted into obsession and fury, fellow buffs and firefighters said.
Cuocolo, the daughter of an ex-NYPD cop-turned-private investigator, dug up information on some firefighters and posted photos of their wives and children. At least one firefighter demanded she remove them.
FDNY obsession turns dark. Firefighters face threats from groupies.