Fire Captain Faces Domestic Violence Charge

By John Chambliss
The Ledger
john.chambliss@theledger.com

WINTER HAVEN -- A Winter Haven fire captain was arrested Wednesday night and accused of hitting his wife in the face, Winter Haven police reported.

Richard Murphy, 52, of Winter Haven, faces a domestic violence assault charge, police said. He was being held in the Polk County Jail without bail Thursday, a jail supervisor said.

The incident occurred about 7:45 p.m. at the couple's home on Howard West Avenue, police said.

Murphy's wife, Deborah, called police and said her husband had hit her in the face, police reported.

She told police that during an argument she threw something at Murphy to prevent him from hitting her, police reported.

Police reported that Deborah Murphy suffered a minor injury to her leg and other additional injuries.

Police said several items inside the home were broken.

Murphy, an employee with the city for 27 years, earns $54,513 a year, according to city officials.

It was unclear Thursday if Murphy would be disciplined.

Fire Chief Tony Jackson said he had not spoken with Murphy.

"Right now I will investigate to see if any policies have been broken," Jackson said. "I want to talk to him first."

John Chambliss can be reached at john.chambliss@theledger.com or 863-802-7539.