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Four Long Island firefighters, including an assistant chief, were arrested early yesterday (Sunday) morning following a large, alcohol-fueled fight at a catering hall that left at least three people injured. The firefighters were attending the Hagerman Fire Department installation banquet. The banquet was held at the same time as a wedding at East Wind Catering in Wading River. They all met in a common area of the building.
Six law enforcement agencies responded to the fight. The groom had injuries to the face and upper body and two police officers were treated for hand injuries.
Riverhead Town Police said they responded to the catering hall after receiving numerous calls about a large fight involving approximately 40 to 50 people.
The fight had erupted in the main foyer between a wedding party and Hagerman Fire Department guests, police said. Numerous subjects, mainly intoxicated, started pushing, cursing, and hitting one another, according to the police report.
Thomas Dunham, 55, was charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest after he “went after a [Riverhead police] sergeant” authorities said. Dunham is the Hagerman Fire Department’s first assistant chief, according to the department’s website.
His son, Andrew Dunham, 29, was charged with third-degree assault, second-degree harassment, and resisting arrest in connection with “harassing” a police officer, authorities said.
Another of Dunham’s sons, Brendan, 21, was charged with third-degree assault, police said.
Thomas Dunham, who is the first assistant chief of the Hagerman Fire Department and a retired county DPW worker, walked into the courtroom with blood stains on his head. He and his son Andrew were ordered held on $500 cash bail, which they posted and were released.
The other two men were released on their own recognizance, but were told by Judge Lori Hulse that if the victims request an order of protection, that one would be issued and they would be warned to stay away from the victims. About 15 supporters of the firefighters were present in court.
All four pleaded not guilty and are due back in court March 20.