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

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia on Tuesday. Kerry made unannounced trip to Somalia in a show of solidarity with the government trying to defeat al-Qaida-allied militants.

A First: John Kerry Makes Unannounced Visit To Somalia

Kerry became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Somalia. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called the visit “a great moment” for his country.


An FBI crime scene investigator documents evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center on Monday in Garland, Texas.

ISIS Claims Credit For Shooting In Garland, Texas

In a bulletin, the self-declared Islamic State said the two suspects were “soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphate.” U.S. officials said they were investigating a link to international terrorism.


A screen grab from Joo Won-moon's interview with CNN from Pyongyang on Tuesday.

NYU Student Detained In North Korea Was Hoping For ‘Great Event’

A South Korean student arrested for crossing illegally into North Korea tells CNN he is doing well, and that he went into the rogue state hoping to improve relations between North and South.


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify before a House panel on Benghazi and her email-retention policies.

Clinton Agrees To Answer House Panel’s Questions On Benghazi, Emails

But her lawyer says the former secretary of state, and Democratic presidential candidate, will appear before the panel once — not twice, as requested by the head of the Benghazi committee.


In this photo posted on Twitter on Sunday, and provided by NASA, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti sips espresso from a cup designed for use in zero gravity, on the International Space Station.

Space Shot: Italian Astronaut ‘Boldly’ Brews Espresso On Space Station

Italian Sam Cristoforetti tweeted Sunday an image of her sipping espresso from a zero-gravity cup. No word yet on whether the coffee was any good.


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
Underwriting Payments