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  1. #1
    PapaBear's Avatar
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    Firefighter sues Police Department

    San Dimas resident claims he was wrongfully accused and arrested

    By Janette Williams, Staff Writer


    PASADENA - A veteran county firefighter has filed suit for damages against the Arcadia Police Department, claiming he was wrongfully arrested, accused of impersonating a police officer and thrown in the drunk tank overnight after an incident at a friend's birthday celebration in The Derby restaurant.
    Richard M. Burk's arrest last April led to a reprimand from his employer for the 41-year-old San Dimas resident, who is stationed at the Fire Station 34 in the city, and marred an "exemplary" 16-year record with the Fire Department, his attorney Steven H. Haney said Friday.

    His client is seeking attorney fees and "an amount in excess of $500,000" in damages, citing false arrest, defamation and emotional distress.

    The suit also alleges that Burk's April 4 arrest led to a defamatory police blotter item published in an Arcadia weekly newspaper.

    The brief item did not name Burk but described three arrests after a "fight" in the restaurant where "tables were overturned and bottles and glasses were thrown about" and called the two men and one woman arrested "inebriated ... belligerent, loud and uncooperative."

    Arcadia City Attorney Stephan Deitsch said the city "believes the allegations contained in the complaint are generally not valid and intends to vigorously defend this matter."

    The suit describes the incident that prompted a call to Arcadia police as a "verbal dispute" between two members of Burk's party celebrating a birthday at the Derby, a fixture on Huntington Drive since 1922.

    During the argument, the suit says, a table "accidentally tipped over" when one person stood up, "causing a couple of glasses on the table to break."

    According to the suit, the table had been picked up, things had cooled down and everyone had resumed eating when police "swarmed upon the scene with multiple police cars and officers ... as if responding to a mass riot in progress."

    Officers jumped over the wall in the patio area where Burk and his party were sitting, began yelling at the diners and made no attempt to find out what had happened or if arrests should be made, the suit alleges.

    "In an effort to calm the situation down, Burk, who was not intoxicated, told one of the (Arcadia) officers at the scene he was a (county) firefighter" in San Dimas, according to the suit.

    "In response the officer said he had just called the Sheriff's Department in San Dimas and that Burk did not work there."

    Burk was told he was being arrested on charges of impersonating an officer and being drunk in public, but his Fire Department ID was never checked, and he was not given any breath, urine or blood tests, the suit alleges.

    Arcadia police later telephoned the San Dimas fire station and, according to the suit, told the duty officer Burk was drunk in public, lied about being a policeman and had been part of a fight.

    Burk was booked, photographed and fingerprinted, the suit says, but he was never charged with any offenses and was "simply released" the next morning.

    The "wrongful conduct" by police triggered the letter of reprimand sent to Burk, the suit alleges.

    The letter, included in the filing and signed by Acting Assistant Chief Robert Hook, stated Burk "failed to meet departmental expectations by not conducting (himself) in a professional manner while off-duty and bringing discredit and embarrassment to the department."

    Haney said Friday that this "disciplinary paperwork" in Burk's file will affect his promotion prospects and could cost him "hundreds of thousands of dollars" over the rest of his career.

    "We're asking in excess of $500,000 simply because he has many years left with the department, and he's basically stuck at this rank for the rest of his career."
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  2. #2
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    Sound like the officers screwed the pooch by not following up. Drunk, impersonating, disturbing the police, I mean peace, then released without charges, OOP's.


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  3. #3
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Haney said Friday that this "disciplinary paperwork" in Burk's file will affect his promotion prospects and could cost him "hundreds of thousands of dollars" over the rest of his career.

    One incident means the difference in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wow I need to be a fireman. Also, you don't get a breath and or blood test for alcohol if you are publicly intoxicated. Driving under the influence is a different matter. Bunch of cops showed up for the purpose of ruining this guys night and career.......

    Something tells me that the bill for that table should be pulled and we will see who was drunk.

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  4. #4
    mack's Avatar
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    I don't know about other departments, but in mine a letter of reprimand is no where near as bad as a suspension. He got a slap on the wrist by his dept and it is going to cost him a possible promotion? I think he is a little over the top on this one.

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    lol

    this could never happen in plaquemine. because all of the fire department work at the police department. lol. but to be on the otherhand this is ridicolus. he deserved to have been arrested, you do the crime you face up to the consequences.

  6. #6
    So Fla Cop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armsmaster270 View Post
    Sound like the officers screwed the pooch by not following up. Drunk, impersonating, disturbing the police, I mean peace, then released without charges, OOP's.
    And you believe this because a scumbag lawyer and a drunk said so???
    September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

  7. #7
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    San Dimas?

    Excellent!

    Points to anyone who gets the reference.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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  8. #8
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    San Dimas?

    Excellent!

    Points to anyone who gets the reference.
    Bill & Ted... Bogus!

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  9. #9
    MacLean's Avatar
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    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  10. #10
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    I stand by my original. They should have booked him on the charges, not let him go.


    Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy

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  11. #11
    Norm357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by So Fla Cop View Post
    And you believe this because a scumbag lawyer and a drunk said so???

    How do you know he is a drunk?
    dlefdal said:
    Ummmm, what if I don't like thumbs in my butt?

  12. #12
    adroitcuffs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armsmaster270 View Post
    I stand by my original. They should have booked him on the charges, not let him go.
    In regards to the public intox charge only, many agencies in California do not request criminal charges. I don't know how y'all did it in Sacto, but down here in So Cal, our district attorney's office doesn't really have an interest when we submit for PC 647(f) charges. Even repeat offenders get released as per PC 849(b) - held for intoxication only, no criminal charges filed.
    The true measure of your character is what you choose to do when you think no one is looking.

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  13. #13
    So Fla Cop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm357 View Post
    How do you know he is a drunk?
    Come on.....get real...
    September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

  14. #14
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    No up here 647f's get kicked but not 415's or impersonating a cop. most places fireman arent cops unless they are arson investigators


    Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy

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  15. #15
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    I'm impressed that the firefighter was able to stay awake long enough to file the lawsuit. That's gotta be a FF record of some sort.
    Why no, that's not a pregnant anaconda in my pants...why do you ask?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by armsmaster270 View Post
    No up here 647f's get kicked but not 415's or impersonating a cop. most places fireman arent cops unless they are arson investigators
    The post said that he identified himself as a county firefighter though...so why did they think he was identifying himself as a cop? I don't get it.

  17. #17
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    Second line of the post said" he was accused of impersonating a police officer" I don't know how the post is all we have to go on. Possibly he was contempt of cop and they were going to teach him a lesson. Possibly they put him in the tank to sober up and dropped all the other charges because he was a firefighter. Only they know for sure. Sometimes when you cut someone a break it comes back to bite you on the ass.


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  18. #18
    LawnMM is offline Oppressor of Crackheads
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    Sounds like an evening full of douchebaggery to me.

 

 

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