Firefighter Allegedly Beat Up Man Over Slow Food Order

A man took too long to order his food. That's the reason why a Brookline, Massachusetts, firefighter allegedly beat a man, who he believes was homeless, outside Anna's Taqueria on Harvard Street in Brookline Sunday night.

A Brookline, Massachusetts, firefighter is accused of beating a man, believed to be homeless, who took too long to order food from a popular taqueria Sunday night.

A police report detailing the incident, which happened just after 10:30 p.m. outside Anna's Taqueria on Harvard Street in Brookline, says the firefighters, 37-year-old Joseph Ward, of Dorchester, asked the customer in front of him to hurry up.

Words were exchanged, then Ward followed the man outside and called him "a homeless (expletive)," according to the report.

Ward then punched him in the face and pushed him to the ground, the report says, adding that the firefighter threw "five to seven punches with both hands," kicked the man, then threw food and a bottle at him.

Ward now faces a charge of assault and battery. According to the police report, he fled the scene and was found on a nearby street, where he gave investigators his account.

Ward told police he had asked the man in front of him in line to hurry up, and once the order was finished, the man challenged him to a fight, according to police.

The Brookline fire chief said the department is reviewing the incident.

"As you know, Mr. Ward has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. I cannot provide you with anything more than that at this time as I have not been able to review the reports or speak with Mr. Ward. I hope to do both tomorrow," the chief said in a statement Monday.

The victim suffered a laceration to his eyebrow and was taken to Beth Israel Hospital.

Ward was due in court Tuesday. He did not answer questions on his way into the courthouse.

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