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Home  >  Topics  >  Patrol Issues

July 19, 2012
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Video: Fire chief arrested for altercation with deputy

A fire chief was arrested for disorderly conduct during an altercation with a deputy at the scene of a crash

By PoliceOne Staff

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — A fire chief was arrested for disorderly conduct during an altercation with a deputy at the scene of a crash in Miss.

Amateur video shows the accident scene in Poplarville, as well as the altercation between Chief Mike White and Sheriff's Deputy Joe Garcia.

Chief White told the Picayune Item that members of the Poplarville Fire Department were the first responders at the scene of the single-vehicle rollover on Sunday afternoon.

Two people were extricated and were receiving medical attention when a deputy with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Dept. arrived on the scene.

PRCSO Corporal Joe Garcia told him the people in the car could not afford to pay for a wrecker service and was allowing an unidentified person at the scene to begin work on turning the car over with a winch, according to the article.

However, Chief White said due to fluid around the overturned car and a smell of gasoline there was a fire risk. He began to position himself to prevent efforts to move the car.

Video footage shows Garcia wrapping his arms around the chief and physically moving him out of the way. A short while later, Chief White was arrested and handcuffed at the scene.

County sheriff David Allison said Wednesday that his deputy didn't feel there were any public safety concerns from the vehicle and that his deputy was in charge of the accident scene.

"We wouldn't report to a fire scene and tell them how to put out a fire," Allison told WLOX-TV

Chief White said as ranking first responder on the scene, the incident commander remains in command until the danger is deemed to have passed.

He is looking to have the disorderly conduct charge dropped.

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