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  1. #1
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    Here's a new one: Firefighter Brutality



    Friday, January 12, 2007
    AIMEE GREEN

    A 48-year-old man says Portland firefighters forced him to the floor and kicked him after he argued with them in the lobby of his apartment building early Thursday -- an allegation backed up by surveillance tapes.

    The tapes, recorded from cameras mounted in the lobby of the Fairfield Apartments, show that resident Terry DeGeorge didn't appear to touch the firefighters before they forced him to the floor. While he was being held down by two firefighters and a paramedic, another firefighter kicked him three times, the video shows. A security guard restrained him with handcuffs.

    The attack occurred shortly after midnight at the apartment building, 1117 S.W. Stark St., which is about a block away from Powell's Books.

    DeGeorge said the attack left him with a swollen wrist, a bruised forearm, a rug burn about the size of a quarter to his right cheek and abrasions to the left cheek.

    "It was animalistic behavior," said DeGeorge. "Their conduct was way beyond professional."

    DeGeorge had not filed a complaint with the Portland Fire Bureau on Thursday, and he said he's not sure if he will. He said he's shocked by what happened and doesn't know what to do. He was given a copy of the video by an apartment manager after he reviewed it.

    Lt. Allen Oswalt, a spokesman for the Fire Bureau, said a different story likely would emerge if the videotape had also recorded what was said in the lobby.

    "It's too bad there isn't sound in that video," Oswalt said. "Because both of our guys interviewed said he was screaming profanities. . . . He was being very aggressive, in your face kind of stuff. Our firefighters felt threatened."

    Oswalt said firefighters also worried about the patient's safety. Koddy Hart, who was being treated by firefighters, said he didn't feel threatened by DeGeorge.

    Fire Bureau administrators learned about the incident on Thursday afternoon, and Oswalt said they hadn't had an opportunity to acquire the videotape. Oswalt said he couldn't fully comment about what happened until he saw the video.

    Hart, who saw the altercation, said DeGeorge can be intimidating but did not swing at the firefighters.

    "The way they handled it was totally wrong," Hart said.

    DeGeorge concedes that he was angry because he was awakened about midnight by a commotion in the lobby of the apartment, which is home to about 80 low-income residents.

    Hart had a severe headache and had called for medical help. Oswalt said logs show that four firefighters from Station 3 at Northwest 17th Avenue and Johnson Street responded. Two paramedics from AMR also responded.

    DeGeorge said he complained to firefighters who were treating Hart on a couch in the lobby. DeGeorge says he doesn't remember exactly what he said -- probably something about how he was unhappy about the disturbance. He says he didn't swear.

    "I spoke loudly," DeGeorge said. "I was in a negative state. My vibes were not good."

    Even so, DeGeorge said he was surprised by the firefighters' response.

    "Two wrongs don't make a right," DeGeorge said. "Instead of trying to calm me down by talking to me, they jumped me. . . . One of them said, 'You don't mess with the fire department.' "

    A few minutes later, the video shows the firefighters backing away. Two Portland police officers arrive and drag DeGeorge out of the lobby, pulling him by one arm.

    "The cops didn't even know what's going on," DeGeorge said. "They drag me away like a piece of meat."

    DeGeorge said Portland Police detained him in the back of a patrol car for about 10 minutes before letting him go without charging him. Sgt. Brian Schmautz, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said he hadn't been able to see the officer's reports.

    Oswalt said the Fire Bureau likely would ask the police to do an investigation.

    DeGeorge's girlfriend, Mary Elizabeth Long, said DeGeorge deserves an apology from firefighters. "That was uncalled for," Long said. "They shouldn't be hurting people like that."

    DeGeorge said he doesn't know the names of the firefighters involved -- or the paramedic, who apparently took part.

    Fire records show firefighters responding to calls for medical assistance from the subsidized housing apartments an average of twice a month in 2006. DeGeorge said a number of his neighbors have medical or mental health problems.

    When DeGeorge is working, he pays about $400 a month for his single-room, 150-square foot apartment. Because he is unemployed now, he's not paying anything. He has a misdemeanor police record including convictions for speeding, driving under the influence, criminal mischief, harassment and fourth-degree assault. A relative has a restraining order against him.

    "Maybe they were thinking, 'You're a lowlife living in this low-income building,' " said DeGeorge. "Nah, I shouldn't say that. I don't know what they were thinking."

    Aimee Green:503-294-5119; aimeegreen@news.oregonian.com
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  2. #2
    BrickCop's Avatar
    BrickCop is offline "Shrinkage Proof"
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    That's what the guy gets for getting them out of their comfy firehouse beds.
    Why no, that's not a pregnant anaconda in my pants...why do you ask?

  3. #3
    BEB
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    The video :
    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/orego...f?LC_61BEAT112

    Would be nice to have audio to hear what was said. Looked like he was about ready to get physical.
    Last edited by BEB; 01-12-07 at 10:38 PM.

  4. #4
    OffDuty's Avatar
    OffDuty is offline The Shotgun is Family.
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    When I think of Firefighter Brutality I think of a fireman who applies wax to the rig too vigorously, or raises the lever on the lazyboy really really hard when reclining back.
    There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...


    Canada, huh? Almost made it...

    *DISCLAIMER*The opinions expressed here are my own delusions. My employer administraton would at best shake their heads and sigh; or at worst severely repudiate the content of these posts, should it ever manage to appear on their radar.

  5. #5
    121Traffic's Avatar
    121Traffic is offline Just Us
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffDuty View Post
    When I think of Firefighter Brutality I think of a fireman who applies wax to the rig too vigorously, or raises the lever on the lazyboy really really hard when reclining back.
    Now THAT is fucking comedy.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  6. #6
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
    Piggybank Cop is offline Nobody important.
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    "I spoke loudly," DeGeorge said. "I was in a negative state. My vibes were not good."

    No charge for the vibe adjustment, have a nice day.

    We are the thin blue line
    between you
    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.

  7. #7
    OffDuty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    Now THAT is fucking comedy.
    Even funnier if it wasnt so true...
    There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...


    Canada, huh? Almost made it...

    *DISCLAIMER*The opinions expressed here are my own delusions. My employer administraton would at best shake their heads and sigh; or at worst severely repudiate the content of these posts, should it ever manage to appear on their radar.

  8. #8
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Isn't interfering with a medical aid a felony?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  9. #9
    dlux is offline --
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    Letís hope he doesn't need help from fire or medical any time soon. He is lucky because here he would have taken a ride for interfering with a firefighter and disorderly conduct (assuming his language was profane).

  10. #10
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    had it been the police, he'd have all ready gotten a lawyer, and filed the complaint.

 

 

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