Nation & World News

Police Officer Arrests Firefighter At Accident Scene In California

By Bill Chappell on February 5th, 2014

How do we explain the arrest of a firefighter by a police officer at the scene of an accident — after an argument over where a fire truck should park? The authorities are still discussing the incident, which took place Tuesday night on California’s I-805, where a car had rolled over at the center road barrier.

As San Diego’s CBS 8 TV reports, an argument broke out between a California Highway Patrol officer and a firefighter from Chula Vista, as they clashed over where the Chula Vista crew’s fire engine should be stationed. Firefighters had placed their vehicle along the center road divider, close to where a car had flipped over, and behind an ambulance. Emergency personnel tended to the car’s two occupants as the conflict went on around them.

CBS 8’s cameras captured the incident, which ended with the firefighter being handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser.

The firefighter, Jacob Gregoire, 36, was held in the police car for about 30 minutes before being released, CBS 8 says. The station posted video showing Gregoire talking to the news crew to be sure they knew what was taking place.

“Hey, I just want to let you know, he’s arresting me for not moving the fire truck,” Gregoire can be heard yelling.

And with that, he was handcuffed. Despite the unusual situation and the disagreement it followed, the firefighter and police officer aren’t seen exhibiting much aggression toward one another in the video, which shows them talking as Gregoire is led away.

The fire department’s chief tells CBS 8 that while the CHP would have jurisdiction over a scene on the interstate, it wasn’t yet clear whether the police had claimed control when the dispute escalated. The fire truck was reportedly the first to arrive at the scene.

Members of the CHP and the Chula Vista fire department held a meeting Wednesday to discuss the conflict. A statement released by Fire Chief Dave Hanneman praises the fire department’s members for not escalating the tension:

“In an emergency, the Chula Vista Fire Department is responsible for the safety and care of the injured victims and for the safety of the crew. Our goal at an emergency is to secure the scene and begin emergency care and transport victims to the hospital as soon as possible. Last night, there were two injured passengers our crew needed to reach and treat in a rollover vehicle accident on Interstate 805. One of our firefighters on the scene was detained by the California Highway Patrol. I am very proud of how Engineer Jacob Gregoire and the other firefighters on the scene handled the situation. While we work very well together with the CHP 99% of the time, we need to find out what happened last night and how we can improve training and communication to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

The CHP hasn’t released a statement about the incident.

Thanks to NPR Senior Editor Susan Vavrick for sending this story our way.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in Moscow today.

Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov Shot Dead

Nemtsov served as a governor and deputy prime minister in the 1990s. He later became an opposition leader and sharp critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was killed on a street in Moscow.


A Rival’s Retirement Prompts One-Word Statement From Aussie Politician

“Good.”


Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player to play in the NBA in 1950, died Thursday at 86. He's seen here, center, being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Honors Ring in 2003.

5 Quotes From Earl Lloyd, The First Black Player In The NBA

Earl Lloyd, who died Thursday, once recalled telling a young man who thanked him for blazing a trail, “Man, you owe me absolutely nothing.”


Actor Leonard Nimoy died Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 83.

Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock On ‘Star Trek,’ Dies At 83

The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his granddaughter tells NPR.


People gather on the spot where Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy was killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday.

Bangladeshi-American Blogger Hacked To Death In Dhaka

Avijit Roy’s writings denounced fundamentalist thought and earned him death threats from Islamist groups. His wife, Rafida Ahmed, who was with him during the attack Thursday, was severely wounded.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments