Tuesday, April 30, 2013
According to the official affidavit, Vincent Jason Smeltz, posted several comments on his facebook page directed towards Ada police officer, Brad Rhoads.
The comments say, quote:
"I want brad Rhoads head. I'm just getting started. I want your job Rhoads." [Sic]
"Fire brad Rhoads." [Sic]
The affidavit say these comments, and many others, were posted following the arrest of Smeltz's wife, Laura, for public intoxication on April 24th.
It also states Smeltz arrived at the scene of the arrest to try to intervene and was asked to leave 21 times by officer Rhoads.
It says Smeltz followed Rhoads to the Pontotoc County Justice Center where he spoke to Sergeant Jason Potter about his wife's arrest.
Smeltz was arrested Tuesday for willfully using a computer system or network to put another person in fear of physical harm or death.
According to the affidavit, Rhoads says he was in fear of both.
It goes on to say Smeltz posted numerous comments on his facebook page following his wife's arrest up through April 28th -- regarding Rhoads and Potter.
In one post, Smeltz allegedly says, quote "ada pd do not park across the street from my house for your speed trap. I don't want to be associated with your corruption. Stay away or I'll push you down the street."
Ada Police and the District Attorney's office both declined to comment on Tuesday's arrest.
Ada Fire Chief Marion Harris says Smeltz is still employed with the fire department, but has temporarily been re-assigned to other clerical type jobs.
"The firefighter in question has been placed on dispatch duty assignment and that's just a precaution until we can figure out what's going on and determine the allegations," said Harris.
The Sheriff's office says Smeltz bonded out of jail Tuesday morning on a $5000 bond.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
A Toledo firefighter was arrested early Monday morning for pushing his way into a woman’s residence, then trying to flee twice from police as they attempted to arrest him, according to police reports.
Thomas E. Williams, 59, was charged Monday with violating a protection order, resisting arrest, and obstructing official business. He was released Monday on a $1,500 bond.
Police responded about 2:31 a.m. to a residence on Four Seasons Drive for a report of a burglary. According to police, Mr. Williams had pushed his way inside a residence, and had to be pushed back outside the home.
An officer stopped Mr. Williams as he backed out of a parking space. Mr. Williams is accused of running away from the officer as he was being taken into custody, and then once caught, pulling away from the officer and attempting to run away again, police reports state.
On Oct. 9, the woman had filed for a civil stalking protection order against Mr. Williams. On Oct. 22, a protection order was issued for one year, court documents state.
Mr. Williams has been with the Toledo Fire Department for more than 23 years. The firefighter and paramedic was most recently assigned to Station 14, 1655 N. Reynolds Rd., Battalion Chief John Kaminski said.
Mr. Williams has been on sick leave “for some time,” Chief Kaminski said. The department was made aware of his arrest Monday morning.
“We will definitely investigate this very thoroughly,” Chief Kaminski said.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
RENO COUNTY, KS
A volunteer Reno County firefighter accused of setting more than a dozen grass fires last fall - including three in one day - has been arrested and charged with 14 felony counts of arson.
Cody A. Knox, 19, of Arlington, was arrested on a warrant Friday and booked into the Reno County jail on counts alleging he set 14 fires in county fields between Oct. 16 and Nov. 27, according to Reno County District Court records.
Knox, a volunteer firefighter for Reno County Fire District No. 4, allegedly used a cigarette lighter to set the fires, according to Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder.
Reno County Fire District No. 4 covers Arlington, Langdon, Plevna and Abbyville.
Dates of multiple fires include three near Arlington Nov. 21, two near Arlington Nov. 11, and two on Oct. 17.
Knox posted a $7,500 bond to be released from jail and is scheduled to make his first appearance in court Friday. He could not be reached for comment. An arrest report lists the U.S. Army as Knox's employer. At the time of the fires, Knox was attending Hutchinson Community College studying fire science, according to the Reno County Sheriff's Office.
Schroeder couldn't comment on the motive behind the alleged arsons and would only say Knox's arrest was the result of "good police work" by Reno County Sheriff's officers, who investigated the case for several months. He declined to comment further on details of the investigation.
Sheriff's Capt. Steve Lutz said volunteer firefighters get paid per fire call, but it's just a small amount typically reimbursing them for gas mileage or related expenses.
"I don't know if it was for the thrill of it or if he was bored and wasn't seeing enough action," Lutz said. "A lot of times, (investigators) look at firemen because they aren't getting enough action, they know how to set the fires, and think they can get away with it without getting people hurt."
Several landowners in the area said they knew of the fires, but that there was no damage on their land.
Freeman Yoder, an area dairy farmer who also has a seed-cleaning business, said he and his family were outside working one day last fall when they saw smoke on a piece of Conservation Reserve Program acreage near their property and reported it.
"We were out here doing chores and seen it go," he said. "We got it stopped pretty quick."
However, he noted, the area is in a drought. If it had been a windy day, "it could have gotten into a shelterbelt and really taken off."
Duane Sullivan, who lives on a few acres between Hodge and Sego Road on Irish Creek Road, said he didn't realize that two of the fires had occurred at the intersections on either side of him.
He was glad to know there wasn't much damage.
"It was dry back then," he said, noting that the situation could have been worse.
According to Lutz, Knox was involved in a vehicle accident en route to one of the fires but insisted he was fine, so a fire truck picked him up on the way to the fire, leaving Knox's vehicle behind.
The complaint against Knox was filed last Wednesday in Reno County District Court. All of the arson charges are severity level-7 felonies, which carry a presumptive probation sentence upon conviction unless the defendant has two or more person felonies.
Schroeder said he hasn't handled a case before involving a firefighter accused of arson.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Midland's former fire chief forged signatures on nearly $2,000 in cashed checks and used $12,000 in department funds to pay his personal cell phone bill for five years, state police said.
James Ulizio, 60, of 1252 Ohio Ave., Midland, faces more than 60 charges, including 47 counts of access device fraud, six counts each of forgery and theft, and two counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.
Trooper Edward Hermick Jr. wrote in a criminal complaint filed Friday that unauthorized electronic transactions and withdrawals from a special fund account at the First National Community Bank's Midland branch were discovered by fire department officials who told state police Jan. 29.
After obtaining AT&T records with a search warrant, police determined Ulizio used the fund to make 46 payments to the phone company and one payment to Peoples Natural Gas between Feb. 13, 2008, and Jan. 13 of this year. The payments totaled $12,274.49.
The AT&T account was for Ulizio's cell phone, Hermick wrote, and there were also three additional numbers on the account.
Additionally, Ulizio cashed four checks made out to him that totaled $1,912, police said. Ulizio, they said, forged the signatures of then-assistant fire chief Howard Sweed and his wife, department treasurer Tracy Sweed, on the checks.
Between the money used to pay his phone and gas bills, bank fees and cashed checks, Ulizio took $14,186.49 from the department's fund, Hermick wrote.
In late March, Howard Sweed reported to police that he had two death claim forms -- one from 2007 and one from 2008 -- for department members who had died that each bore his signature although he had not signed them.
Sweed told police that he did not sign the forms and knew nothing about them. Sweed said Monday that the forms are for a group life insurance policy for department members and that money from the claims went to the beneficiaries.
Now the department's chief, Sweed said that the fund was "used sporadically for equipment and things we need" and that it was funded from donations from the borough.
Sweed said the department has implemented changes to how accounts are managed. "We've changed that entire policy," he said.
Ulizio was "released from the department" following an internal investigation, Sweed said. Sweed said he has not spoken to Ulizio about the case.
"Honestly, he's a friend," Sweed said. "It hurts my feelings that this would happen."
Ambridge attorney James Ross, who is representing Ulizio, declined to comment on the charges. Ulizio has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 28.
Monday, April 29, 2013
RIVIERA BEACH, FL
A Palm Beach County firefighter paramedic was arrested Saturday after being involved in a dispute over a $267.28 restaurant tab at a Singer Island restaurant and bar, city police said.
Police charged firefighter Michael N. Klein, 31, with disorderly intoxication and resisting without violence after alleging he became “belligerent” toward officers and refused orders to leave the vicinity of Johnny Longboats at the city beach.
Palm Springs Police Officer Angela Brito was also involved but was not arrested. Klein was released Sunday on his own recognizance from the Palm Beach County Jail, records show. It was not immediately clear to which Palm Beach County Fire Rescue battalion Klein — who has been with the department since July 2006 — is assigned.
City police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said she was not aware of any intent to file charges against Brito, 24.
City police were called to Johnny Longboats shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday after the restaurant’s manager reported that a group of customers disputed their bill and walked out while refusing to pay, according to the arrest report.
The officer told the group someone needed to pay the bill or face arrest for theft. A woman, later identified at Brito, stepped forward, the report said.
“I do what you do, and you’re wrong,” she reportedly told an officer.
Klein then presented his credit card to the restaurant manager. Brito continued to yell and act in a disorderly manner, the report said.
As the situation escalated, Klein allegedly also confronted an officer and got within inches of the officer’s face, the report said.
The officer pushed Klein away and called for backup. A second officer ordered Klein and Brito to leave the area. The Riviera Beach officer allowed Brito to leave with a group of men.
According to the report, the officers believed Klein had also left with the group, but Klein then walked back in their direction and continued to behave in a belligerent manner.
Klein was then arrested and taken to the police department for processing. He admitted to drinking four beers and one shot of liquor before walking out before paying the bill, the report said.
Monday, April 29, 2013
A northern Kentucky fire chief announced his retirement just days after he was arrested on drunken driving charges.
Newport is conducting a personnel investigation of Paul Uebel, who retired last week after leading the department since 2008.
Last Wednesday, a witness reported an apparently intoxicated driver in Newport.
The witness said the driver struck a guard rail from northbound Interstate 471 to Grand Avenue.
The witness told police that the driver struck a curb and drove onto some grass on Carothers Road and then struck a parked car while parking on 10th Street, outside the fire department.
When officers arrived, they said the witness pointed at Uebel as he attempted to walk inside.
"That's him right there; he's drunk and is going to hurt somebody," the witness is quoted as saying in a police report.
Police said Uebel smelled of alcohol when they confronted him.
Uebel was charged Monday.
Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/news-northern-kentucky/newport-fire-chiefs-retirement-comes-after-dui-arrest/-/13608792/19941378/-/1stkh0/-/index.html#ixzz2RwjBTCXl
Monday, April 29, 2013
The former assistant fire chief in Kernersville was charged Monday with taking indecent liberties with a child.
Timothy Scott Swaim, 46, of the 3700 block of Flat Rock Road in Kernersville, is accused of taking a picture of a naked 15-year-old girl, according to a court record. The felony offense occurred in November 2008, an arrest warrant states.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Swaim has just resigned his position with the Kernersville Fire Department, a job he has held for 18 years, according to court records.
Swaim was being held Monday afternoon in the Forsyth County Jail with his bond set at $4,000. He is scheduled to appear in court May 23.
Friday, April 26, 2013
An East St. Louis firefighter was busted in Texas with $50,000 in cash and marijuana, police said.Now the fire chief wants the firefighter fired for refusing a drug test when he returned from Texas.Lt. Khari Sharp, 39, who has been a firefighter for 10 years, was placed on unpaid leave March 14 and was the subject of a termination hearing Wednesday. The hearing was continued until May 14 to give his attorney time to prepare a defense.Sharp ran out of gas at 1:19 p.m. March 10 in a rural stretch of Interstate 40 about 80 miles east of Amarillo, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped to help Sharp and noticed a strong marijuana smell coming from Sharp's body and from inside the vehicle.The smell gave the trooper probable cause, so he searched the vehicle and found the cash and pot, according to the DEA.Sharp identified himself to the trooper as an East St. Louis firefighter. His firefighter turn out gear and helmet were in the red Chevrolet Blazer that was registered to him.Sharp faces federal charges of possessing marijuana and money laundering. His passenger, Corey Williams, 40, was also arrested and charged with marijuana possession.When Sharp returned to East St. Louis on March 14, Fire Chief Jason Blackmon requested that Sharp submit to a drug test. Sharp "was ordered to accompany East St. Louis Fire Chief Derrick Burns and Capt. Brandon Walls, president of union Local 23, to the designated place for the test," according to the chief's petition for termination."Sharp violated the order and refused to submit to the test," according to Blackmon.Refusing to submit to the drug test violated fire department regulations, Blackmon wrote in the petition for Sharp's termination made to the East St. Louis Police and Fire Board.Sharp on Wednesday appeared before the board wearing a dark blue firefighter's uniform. He sat attentive while he listened to the charges read aloud in the council chambers.The hearing was continued at the request of Sharp's attorney so he and the City Attorney Phil Rice can exchange evidence, documents and statements before the hearing reconvenes at 6 p.m., May 14.
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/04/26/2594053/dea-east-st-louis-firefighter.html#storylink=cpy
Friday, April 26, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, FL
A St. Johns County firefighter is one of four men arrested in a Daytona Beach police prostitution sting, a police official said.
Two sexual predators and a man with cocaine also were arrested in the sting, police said.
Kurt Kevin Johnson, 55, was picked up at 11:38 a.m. Thursday during the sting and told officers he was a fire lieutenant with St. Johns County, said Daytona Beach police Chief Mike Chitwood.
Johnson, charged with solicitation to commit prostitution and cited for using his vehicle for prostitution or lewdness, left the Volusia County Branch Jail at 6:30 p.m. Thursday after posting $500 bail, a booking officer said.
According to an arrest report, Johnson, of St. Augustine, approached a police woman posing as a prostitute at the intersection of South Ridgewood and Freemont avenues, an area known for prostitution, while in his 1997 Dodge truck with a license plate that read KEEPAH, police said.
When a Daytona Beach patrol car drove by, Johnson asked the undercover officer if the police knew her, the report states.
Johnson then asked the officer if she needed a ride and she told him she had a motel room. The officer then asked Johnson how much money he had and he said he had $50 and asked what he could get for that.
Johnson pulled into the parking lot of the Travel Inn where he was arrested, police said.
CONTINUE READING AT: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20130426/NEWS/130429814/1040?p=1&tc=pg
Friday, April 26, 2013
A volunteer firefighter was charged on Thursday with burning five unoccupied buildings, and the his lieutenant said the man’s “baffling” actions do not represent the department as a whole.
The Red Oak Fire Department notified the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office of suspicious fires in March and April at several structures. An investigation launched by detectives came to a close Thursday with the arrest of Abraham Daoud Rizek, 19, a volunteer member of the fire department.
Rizek, 3808 Sheffield Court, allegedly set the fires at five locations and responded to each fire call, Sheriff Neil Elks said at a Thursday morning news conference. The teen is charged with five counts burning of uninhabited buildings.
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