Michael Troina claims he faced homophobic abuse in bizarre hazing rituals
A New York City firefighter recruit was told to have sex with a stripper to prove he wasn’t a ‘faggot’, a lawsuit alleges.
Michael Troina, a former FDNY employee, claimed members of Ladder Co 1/Engine Co 7 subjected him to vicious ‘hazing rituals’.
The lawsuit suggests colleagues stomped on his bunker gear, smeared peanut butter on his car and superimposed his face on a picture of a crying baby.
Troina alleges he ‘was singled out time and time again on account of his race and national origin as a Hispanic American male as well as perceived homosexuality’.
It further states he was ‘threatened with physical violence if he dared to report any incident of battery, harassment or discrimination to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office’.
Troina said colleagues ‘tried to coerce’ him to go to a strip club and ‘regularly harassed him by encouraging him to have sex with a stripper’.
When he refused, the suit claims he was called a ‘faggot’ and ‘loser’.
Other abuse alleged in Manhattan court papers included:
- Being forced to ‘eat orange juice’ with a fork from 12 different plates and then wash the plates.
- Being told ‘he could not do the job like the other white firefighters’ because he is Hispanic.
- Being called a ‘closet homo.’
- Being excluded from a firehouse volleyball outing, where he was later told he was denigrated with homophobic insults.
- When Troina arrived at work the following day, he witnessed a firefighter instructed to ‘do an impression of Troina.’
- The suit alleges Troina told a lieutenant about the ‘degrading and discriminatory incident’ but the supervisor told him it was ‘in good fun and to not take it too hard.’
Trona told the New York Post he, at first, tried to shrug it off as being the new guy.
But as it continued, he suffered ‘mental and emotional stress’.
The 24-year-old was fired on 21 December 2016 just seven days before he would have completed probation.
The FDNY denies the claims, insisting he was fired after a failed evaluation.