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Video: CHP Officer Handcuffs Firefighter at Crash Scene, Chiefs Meet

February 06, 2014  | 

VIDEO: CHP Officer Handcuffs Firefighter at Crash Scene

After a California Highway Patrol officer handcuffed a Chula Vista firefighter for refusing to move his engine at the scene of a crash, the chiefs of both agencies said in a statement Wednesday that they shared the "utmost respect" for each other's missions, reports the L.A. Times.

The incident occurred at the scene of a rollover crash Tuesday night. The CHP officer had ordered the firefighter to move a fire truck because he felt it was unsafely blocking a lane of traffic at the scene of a collision on Interstate 805.

The fire truck had arrived at the scene of the accident before the CHP. The driver, a 12-year veteran of the Fire Department, was parked behind an ambulance that was loading patients for transport to a hospital.

When the firefighter refused to immediately move the truck, saying he needed to confer with his captain, the CHP officer handcuffed the firefighter and put him in the back of a patrol car, where he remained for about 30 minutes. No arrest was made.

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

Ron Martinelli @ 2/6/2014 4:41 PM

Really? Bust a fire fighter and damage his career? SoCal CHP hasn't figured out how to work with the FD yet after all these years regards traffic control? Any supervisory oversight here? Fire fighters park their rigs in traffic lane(s) to protect their personnel from being struck by traffic. Would like to know how the CHP provided vehicle protection to the FD personnel on scene.

"Hey guys, can't we all just get along?" Rodney King, 1993

Rick @ 2/6/2014 5:04 PM

What an A-hole.

Deputy Ken @ 2/6/2014 5:40 PM

This whole incident was rather dumb, a big counter productive pissing contest. In my opinion as another California LEO, the Chipy didnt use any common sense in this case and he handled the situation rather stupidly.

I have had run ins with CHP during crime scene incidents on the freeway in which the only thing the CHP guy cared about was opening the freeway lanes up, never mind the officer involved shooting that just occurred and the evidence that needed to be collected. Soooo,, I'm not bagging on all chipy's because I have a few Chipy buddies who are good dudes, but I know some guys get caught up in the "open the freeway at all costs" mind set. In this case a little more tact and cooperation should have been in order, in my opinion anyway.

Blaine @ 2/6/2014 7:46 PM

I think I can identify at least one more cop that needs some training in judgment. Better yet, he needs to find another job where he doesn't work with any living being.

Ima Leprechaun @ 2/7/2014 1:40 AM

The Fire Department is in charge of their scene and no Law Enforcement Officer has any authority over Fire Equipment at the scene of an Emergency. I suspect the Officer will receive some updated training. I had always worked with the Fire Department and if I had to close the road, I closed the road even if it was a four lane freeway. The FD parks where they need to to properly use their equipment and to protect their people working on the scene. Opening the road would be the least of my concern at any emergency. Traffic can wait.

Outlaw @ 2/7/2014 5:40 AM

The fire officers take great joy in playing hero at every opportunity and openly defying LE. All Cops have experienced it. All he had to do was reposition the truck and tis could have been avoided. LE is in charge of the accident or crime scene. Opening traffic prevents other accidents. The fire fighters need to learn there are multiple objectives at these occurrences that can all be accomplished at the sometime.

TX Lawman @ 2/7/2014 6:58 AM

In our city fire trucks are required to respond to highway accidents and are purposely used to block traffic to protect us until we release them. How stupid is this officer to not use a fire truck for cover. But this is CHP like most State cops they think they are god. Not all, I have met a few who show respect but most think they are a gift to police work. An officer in our department with 3 years on has seen more action than a 20 year State Trooper. I close down multiple lanes for my troops safety even if the accident is on the shoulder. We have lost to many officers on the highway being run over. I would rather close an extra lane than go to a funeral.

mike @ 2/7/2014 9:14 AM

Like most highway patrol "police officers," this guy sees everything in back and white and no gray. He would probably tag his own mother for speeding and write himself up if he inadvertently went over the speed limit. No common sense.

Capt. Crunch @ 2/7/2014 9:38 AM

@Outlaw, I agree with you. 99% of firefighters are good people but there is that 1% that are A holes, I also have had problems with them. In California the freeways are state property and the CHP is in control, the firefighter should have moved his truck when asked to do so by the CHP officer. The CHP spend more time on the freeways then the firefighters do so they (the CHP) know very well how to protect life and property on any freeway. Also remember this is a brother officer we are talking about who did nothing wrong.

kevcop @ 2/7/2014 12:28 PM

Not knowing the exact situation, I won't judge but my guess there is some bad blood between these 2 agencies from other incidents. BUT…Fire can be hard to work with (as can some Cops) I had a homicide scene once, Fire pronounced the victim dead in the street uniforms secured the scene/body and taped off the area leaving the body and evidence in place. Once the victim is pronounced PD run the scene not fire. A paramedic came back with a "boater" to show off his vast knowledge of wound identification, went under the crime scene tap and started to move the body around ! A Det Sgt. told him to get out of the scene and not touch the body further, its evidence. The "professional " hoser looked directly at the Sgt and placed his (gloved) finger INTO THE BULLET WOUND in defiance . That paramedic was placed under arrest for tampering with evidence & failure to obey a lawful order. As always, a no ball PD Duty Capt. ordered him released and "fire will handle it".Result= NO discipline to fireman

Kyle @ 5/10/2014 3:24 PM

There's always been a rift between police & fire. The police were the traffic authority there so when they ordered the fire truck moved the driver must comply or be arrested as he was. It was the arrogance of the fireman that caused an incident. Firemen paid or volunteer have always had an issue with driving with lights & sirens, who gets to drive. They are pretend cops with highly dangerous large vehicles and not using common sense.

Fire Lieutenant @ 4/9/2016 8:00 PM

If the patient is still on the scene it is Fires scene, we can and will use our trucks as a barrier for the safety of ALL PERSONNEL, FIRE, EMS AND POLICE. We run the scenes till the PT is extracted and in the bus. Police is traffic control and then scene investigation. Welcome to the great State of Texas! Where everyone is equal.

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