Firefighter Flips Out, Suspended For Barack Tirade

From the CT Post:

When Robert Kravitz wore an Obama 2012 T-shirt to gas up his Volvo, he was stunned to find out how divisive the national campaign has become.

“I’m sitting there texting my daughter, and this big, burly guy puts his huge head into my car and starts screaming at me, calling me a f~~~ing socialist,” Kravitz said Friday. “I thought at first it must be a joke by some friend of mine. Who does that to a total stranger?”

Apparently, Paul Neugebauer, a lieutenant in the Bridgeport Fire Department, did.

Neugebauer was charged with breach of peace in the incident, and will be arraigned on Sept. 25 at Superior Court in Milford.

Bridgeport Fire Chief Brian Rooney said Friday he placed Neugebauer on administrative leave, pending a hearing. “I did it as soon as I heard about it, but there has to be an investigation,” Rooney said.

The incident took place Thursday at the Pilot Truck Stop, just off of Interstate 95 in Milford. Kravitz said he felt vulnerable sitting in his low-slung car, so he got out. The car also had a collection of Obama bumper stickers and magnets.

“And that’s when he grabbed my arm and shoved me against the car,” Kravitz said. “I could have used some help, but you know how people are. A bunch of them were standing around, but nobody did anything.”

Neugebauer denies grabbing or shoving Kravitz.

“I just said to him, ‘You really think this is the guy? He (Obama) hasn’t done anything.’ When the cop was here he said to me that if I said that (Kravitz) shoved me, he’d be charged with breach of peace too. But I didn’t do that, because it wasn’t true.”

Kravitz and Neugebauer stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Kravitz, a Woodbridge resident and a business owner, said while he doesn’t work for the campaign, he has contributed to Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential bids.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, helped him secure tickets for himself and his daughter to Obama’s inauguration in 2009, Kravitz said.

Neugebauer has helped to run fundraisers for America’s 911 Foundation, a group that helps support veterans, first responders and their families, and volunteered himself at the World Trade Center site after the terrorist attacks. Neugebauer was also among several firefighters cited by the Bridgeport fire board for heroism in the rescue of two small girls from a burning apartment building in 1997.

But Neugebauer has gotten into trouble before for expressing his political beliefs too stridently. He was charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, a hate crime, after a 2002 dispute with a convenience store owner and his son who were both of Middle Eastern descent.

“I was demoted for that and I had to pay a fine,” Neugebauer said Friday. “I got put on probation. Now I’m going to lose my job. It’s my own fault. I can’t keep my mouth shut and my employer is tired of it.”



  1. *** Does not sound good for this firefighter but we need to wait ’til all the facts are reviewed during the investigation before calling for his head, no? *** POLITICS ***

  2. This is just an example of how this political campaign has become so divisive. There is true hate on each side that, and even with an election result, is going to keep this country divided. Never in 12 presidential campaigns have I seen such divisiveness on so many levels (e.g. economy, war, class warfare, women’s rights, international posture, lack of leadership, corrupt Chicago politics, background issues on both candidates; just to name a few).

  3. Once again, all this seems overblown.

    If this fireman made a jerk out of himself as in assault, then there are laws for that.

    Doesn’t freedom of political speech allow you to be a jerk, regardless of party?

    If not a physical assault, should the guy lose his job, particularly if he is good at that job? I don’t think so.

    Guy sounds like he went overboard … Kravitz sounds like he was pissed and probably rightly but then saw a chance to score some points.

  4. I hope Mr. Rooney will consider that:
    Mr. Neugbaurer was not working at the time, and was, in fact, in Milford.

    He did not, apparently, identify himself as a Bridgeport Firefighter, or refer to his official status.

    Isn’t this a matter between him and the Milford Police?

  5. As a city employee, I have witnessed my dept head falsify O.T. and D.O.T. drug tests, abuse authority on a daily basis and this individual gets a promotion. I think the City should give Mr. Neugebauer a promotion! Why not? Oh! Maybe Mr. Neugebauer has no connections to any of the political assholes who run this city. That’s too bad.

  6. Neugebauer is a shithead who deserves to be fired. He is an opinionated derelict. Nobody cares about what he has to say and the consistent combative way he expresses his worthless opinions. He must have gotten a little extra credit when he took the promotional exams. The man is stupid.

  7. *** “He is an opinionated derelict. Nobody cares about what he has to say and the consistent combative way he expresses his worthless opinions”! Sounds like a few bloggers we’re familiar with on OIB, no? *** Naturally Stupid? ***

  8. Lots of OIB coverage of Obama-Romney and Murphy-McMahon competitions. Keep your eyes open on what happens in that most important voting issue for Bridgeport residents, parents and children all, for the next 50 years or so.

    I am talking about the Charter question. Mayor Finch wants to be accountable for appointing people to the BOE and therefore with education results. Most of all he will more directly be in a position to control jobs and funds than he is today. The Mayor is not fiscally accountable today. Other than his testimony before the CRC, no one else came forward to say he is accountable. That question deserves discussion by the public and much more attention than it is getting from the relatively small reading audience of OIB. Talk to young people who are very impressed with their individual needs and rights. If they don’t get out to vote, do they understand it will be many years before we see another CRC ready to deal with the question? Time will tell.

  9. Is it Neugebauer or NeugeDumb! Another proud card-carrying, dues-paying member of the racist Bridgeport Fire Department’s Bridgeport Firefighters for Merit Employment (BFME). Of which Rooney was a member until it wasn’t in his best interest. Right, former Mayor Fabrizi?

  10. *** As a taxpayer on the outside looking in at the BFD, seems like none of the three groups, BFME, Firebirds or Hispanic Society really have the Workers Union and BFD in their best interest. They are more of a point the finger of blame and all about us types of organizations, no? *** WHO’S ZOOMING WHOM? ***

  11. Mojo, as former President of the Firebird Society who served ten years as President, you do not know what you are talking about. Perhaps you could tell us what facts you have to make your point. As for the topic of what happened with this firefighter, myself and no other Firebird Society member has said anything about what happened, so Mojo, don’t drag us into this.

  12. *** As noted before we should wait ’til all the facts are out on Neugebauer before asking for his job. Also by giving an outside looking in opinion on the three separate groups of firemen who all work for the BFD and should be represented by the same workers union is not dragging any particular group into Neugebauer’s dilemma by any stretch of the imagination! ***


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