Outrageous CA Police Cuff, Detain Firefighter Amid Crash Rescue Dispute
A veteran San Diego-area firefighter was handcuffed Tuesday night and briefly detained by police following a dispute among first responders at a crash scene.
The case has quickly gained national attention and drawn a fierce backlash against the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
According to a local CBS report, the firefighter, 36-year-old Jacob Gregoire, had parked his truck in the left lane of the highway. Two other firefighters moved their trucks from the same location at the request of police, but Gregoire declined, refusing to stop giving aid to a crash victim.
That's when he was handcuffed by an unnamed officer and placed in the back of a patrol car for about 30 minutes before being released.
The CHP and Chula Vista Fire Department released a joint statement Wednesday in response:
Last night there was an unfortunate incident at the scene of a traffic collision on I-805, where both our agencies had responded. Both the CHP and the Chula Vista Fire Department share a common goal of protecting the public and providing the highest level of safety to responding emergency personnel, involved parties and other drivers at collision scenes.
Both of our agencies have the utmost respect for each other and our respective missions. This was an isolated incident and not representative of the manner in which our agencies normally work together toward our common goal.
This morning representatives from both agencies met to discuss the incident to improve communication and ensure the highest level of service is provided to the public. This incident will be a topic of future joint training sessions, in an ongoing effort to work more efficiently together.
Attorneys Lis Wiehl and Mark Eiglarsh weighed in this afternoon. Eiglarsh says in his mind, the firefighter was under arrest - not simply detained - for 30 minutes.
"Legally, he wasn't free to leave for 30 minutes. That's reprehensible," said Eiglarsh after uttering what Bill Hemmer called the "line of the day" in reference to the possibly overzealous officer.
"You ego is not your amigo," he said.
Lis tried to argue on the side of the officer, but admitted she wasn't too convinced by her own argument.
Watch the full discussion and tell us what you think about this unfortunate dispute.