Long Beach firefighter pleads not guilty to stalking charge


A Long Beach firefighter plead not guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor stalking charge, after he was arrested for allegedly harassing a former fellow firefighter and his wife outside their Long Beach home.

Police said that Long Beach residents John and Donna Ritter filed a criminal complaint against firefighter Brian McNamara, 37, after he allegedly stalked the couple for several years.

McNamara was arrested on March 12 after he surrendered himself at Long Beach Police Department headquarters. He was released on $100 bail.

“Typically, we’ll let them know that there was a criminal complaint against them,” said Police Department spokesman Lt. Eric Cregeen. “With respect to a stalking charge, it has to be an ongoing course of conduct. There were several incidents that occurred between July 2009 through October 2012, and our investigators determined that there was probable cause for an arrest for stalking.”

Cregeen said that the incidents took place outside John Ritter’s Minnesota Avenue home, where McNamara allegedly harassed the couple, who accused him of hurling expletives as he walked back and forth outside and antagonizing the former firefighter and Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters Local 287 board member, who retired in 2008.

“The argument stems from a lawsuit that John Ritter had against the Long Beach Fire Department about four years ago,” Cregeen said.

McNamara plead not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday at Long Beach City Court. City Court Judge Roy Tepper issued an order of protection against McNamara, which prohibits him from communicating with the Ritters.

Ritter and McNamara could not immediately be reached for comment.