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Cops: 4 firefighters charged after melee at Wading River hall

Four Hagerman firefighters attending an installation ceremony at a Wading River catering hall Saturday were arrested after a fight involving members of a wedding party that left the groom and two police officers injured, Riverhead police said.

The groom, whom police did not identify, suffered injuries to his face and upper body after being struck with fists, and two Riverhead officers were treated for hand injuries, authorities said.

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.

According to police, the Dunhams all live on Hewlett Avenue in East Patchogue.

Also charged with third-degree assault was Corey Citarella, 29, of East Masem Square in East Patchogue, police said. Citarella is a first lieutenant, according to the Hagerman Fire Department’s website.

All the injured were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center and released. Police said the fight broke out early Sunday in the main foyer of East Wind Caterers on Route 25A.

“Numerous subjects, mainly intoxicated, started pushing, cursing and hitting one another,” said a Riverhead police news release.

It said “numerous agencies,” including the county police and sheriff’s departments and the State Police and Parks departments, responded to “help quell” the disturbance.

The four firefighters pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Sunday in Riverhead Town Justice Court. About 15 supporters attended the hearing, some wearing Hagerman Fire Department gear and arriving in department SUVs.

Thomas Dunham, along with Brendan Dunham and Citarella, were released on their own recognizance. Andrew Dunham was released on bail of $500 cash or $1,000 bond.

Their attorney at the arraignments, Stephen Kiely, said the firefighters were attending an installation dinner at the same time as the wedding and the groups apparently met in the catering hall’s common area.

It was not clear if they’d known each other beforehand or what circumstances had led to the fight. With Vera Chinese

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