Louisiana Firefighter Cited For Disobeying Deputy Sheriff

A Louisiana firefighter was cuffed, taken from a crash scene and cited for disobeying a sheriff’s deputy order to move a fire engine at a crash scene.

According to The Town Talk, a local newspaper published in Alexandria, La., the incident occurred in Winn Parish and involved a Winnfield firefighter and a Winn Parish Sheriff’s Deputy.

According to the newspaper, Firefighter Jonathan Johnson was taken from the scene of the two-vehicle crash for blocking traffic with the engine, something Winn Fire Chief James Keith is standard practice.

The wreck occurred in a turning lane of a four-lane road and the engine was reportedly parked for scene safety, according to the newspaper. Firefighter Johnson then assisted a paramedic on the scene with assessing patients for injuries.

Deputy Ralph Henson asked Johnson to move the engine, as he had asked the operator of a rescue truck and the ambulance and Johnson, reportedly did not immediately comply. Deputy Henson then called Deputy Kelly Fannin for backup.

According to a local television station KTVE, Firefighter Johnson had cleared the scene and was followed back to the fire station. As he backed the truck into the station, he was ordered out of the engine. He was physically removed from the engine, handcuffed and transported to the courthouse. He was shackled to a bench by his leg and held two hours. He was then given a citation for disobeying a police officer.

Sheriff Jordan said the accident was minor with no injuries and it did not require a fire engine, the newspaper reported. The ambulance and rescue truck operators complied with the deputies orders to move.

The Sheriff said the fire engine operator has an obligation to obey the sheriff’s order and the whole incident could have been avoided if he had just complied.

"Order had to be maintained," Jordan told The Town Talk. "Everyone has to obey the law.”

Johnson said he was just keeping the scene safe.

"It was embarrassing, humiliating," Johnson told the television station. "It was bad."

Fire Chief Keith said his department is upset by the whole incident.

"It's kind of disheartening to have to go through this," Keith said. "As an emergency organization we're hear to help people. That's exactly what we were called to do."