Firemen charged with robbery, felony assault, and threatening a witness
Three firefighters in San Diego pleaded not guilty to felony charges after they were accused of fighting with a pair of brothers, robbing and threatening three brothers. The firefighters, aged, 36, 26, and 29 were charged with robbery, threatening or intimidating a witness, making criminal threats and felony assault. According to reports, the firefighters also caused great bodily injury.
The prosecution stated that one of the alleged victims was leaving a bar when he was involved in a verbal altercation with the firefighters, one of whom made a derogatory comment. The firefighters then followed the man and assaulted him. After they left the bar, the alleged victim called his brother, then pursued the firefighters and there was another fight. It was reported that one of the firemen took a wallet from one of the brothers, removed cash, and a family photo. He also threatened him and said he has pictures of his children so he should not contact law enforcement.
When a police officer drove by and approached the firemen, they found the cash, bank card, and photos of the brothers. The firefighters pleaded not guilty and could face nine years in prison if they are convicted. All were jailed the night of the fight, but posted bail. They were off-duty at the time of the incident.
One of the firemen was a 12-year veteran of the Fire-Rescue Department. According to their defense attorneys, the firemen have strong ties to the community and continue to be employed at the fire department.
Defense attorneys have stated that the brothers were the aggressors and the firemen acted in self-defense. Defendants will face potential penalties enforced by the criminal justice system as well as any personal and professional consequences of a criminal allegation.