Long Beach firefighter Brian McNamara was arrested and charged with misdemeanor stalking a former city firefighter union leader on Wednesday.
Firefighter John Ritter accused McNamara of repeatedly antagonizing him and his wife, Donna, starting in 2009, according to Long Beach City Court papers obtained by Newsday. The charges include McNamara walking back and forth outside their home “like a monkey,” cursing and at and vows to haunt Ritter, late-night calls, and bawdy text messages.
McNamara, a 37-year-old West End resident and firefighter since 2005, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment at Long Beach City Court Wednesday and is free on $100 bail. Judge Roy Tepper issued a protective order barring McNamara from contacting the couple.
“This argument stems from a lawsuit that John Ritter had against the Long Beach Fire Department about four years ago,” Lt. Eric Cregeen, a spokesman for the Long Beach Police Department, told Patch. “From July 2009 through October 2012, the subject, Brian McNamara, engaged in a course of conduct that caused the complainant to be in fear for his safety.”
A former union leader who retired in 2008, Ritter has collected more than $50,000 in legal settlements from the City of Long Beach and the firefighter’s union, which denied wrongdoing, according to Newsday.
Bill Piazza, president of the Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association, said that a confidentialy clause with the settlement prohibits all parties involved from discussing the specifics of the agreement. “What I can say is that Brian McNamara was in no way involved or named in the case,” Piazza told Patch. “There is no rivalry between McNamara and Ritter.”
Ritter and McNamara did not comment on the case.