How to win people back after you disrespect a fallen firefighter? Pull a knife on a reporter

NY Levittown Facebook rant about firefighter
Nassau County Police Department photo

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Things have not been going well for Jeremy Henggeler of Levittown, New York. It seems like the whole world was against him and now he’s been arrested. But the reason for the arrest seems to have inspired the only positive comments anyone has had about Henggeler in days.

Since last Thursday Henggeler has been on the receiving end of much scorn for his Facebook comment about being stuck in traffic during the funeral procession of FDNY Firefighter William Tolley. Here’s what he wrote:

NY Levittown Facebook rant about firefighter 5

As you can imagine, Henggeler received a barrage of Facebook comments about his lack of compassion for the fallen firefighter. Besides the negative comments, there have been death threats and a call to boycott Henggeler’s pet-sitting company. Henggeler’s complaint was that while sitting in traffic because of the funeral he was losing money to support his family.

The social media campaign against Henggeler caught the attention of local news. That’s when reporter Virginia Huie of News 12 Long Island went to Henggeler’s home to get his comments about the controversy.


According to news reports, Nassau County Police say Henggeler reacted to the reporter’s presence by pulling out a knife and saying this was his comment. Henggeler was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

The interesting thing about the arrest is that for the first time I’ve noticed comments of support for Jeremy Henggeler. Here are some of the comments from the News 12 website:

NY Levittown Facebook rant about firefighter 4

NY Levittown Facebook rant about firefighter 3

I couldn’t imagine how someone would be able to turn around their image after bad publicity from making such an insensitive and idiotic comment about a firefighter’s funeral. Now, we know the answer — for some out there a reporter is worse than a firefighter hater.

WNBC-TV:

A 40-year-old man was arrested for allegedly threatening a News 12 Long Island reporter with a knife, authorities say.

Reporter Virginia Huie and her crew had gone to the Levittown home of Jeremy Henggeler Monday to interview him about a controversial Facebook post about an FDNY firefighter’s funeral procession, according to News 12.

WABC-TV:

Jeremy Henggeler, 40, allegedly posted on Facebook that FDNY Firefighter William Tolley, killed in the line of duty, was a “parasite” because of the money he was losing from traffic caused by the funeral procession.

“Stuck in traffic for over an hour, with no escape options, all because some agent of the state died,” the post read. He went on to describe firefighters as “parasites” and used profanity in the post.

According to Nassau County Police Department, when a reporter asked 40-year-old Henggeler, owner of Jay’s Sit and Stay, about the post, he displayed a knife and said that was his comment.

William Murphy, Newsday:

When Henggeler was approached by a News 12 Long Island reporter about 6:30 p.m. Monday, he pulled a knife from a sheath on his hip, approached her and told her to get off his property, video from the scene showed. The reporter on the video is Virginia Huie.

Police said Henggeler “approached her in a threatening manner.”

Henggeler told Newsday earlier that he was stuck in traffic Thursday during the funeral of FDNY firefighter William Tolley of Bethpage, who fell to his death from a Queens rooftop while at a fire scene April 20.