Trenton cop vs Trenton firefighter case likely to go to trial
TRENTON — It was Trenton police versus Trenton firemen in a city courtroom yesterday as the case of a firefighter ticketed for obstructing traffic outside an emergency scene went before a municipal judge.
Though indications after the June 8 incident were that the two non-moving violations were going to be settled without a visit to a courtroom, it appears now the case is going to trial.
The confrontation between police officers and firefighters, which is also the subject of a police Internal Affairs investigation, began early in the evening of June 8 outside the Broad Street Bank building, the fire union’s lawyer Andrew Bayer said.
Firefighters had been sent to the East State Street address to investigate an alarm in the high-rise apartment complex. With engines and ladders parked on the two-lane downtown street, Battalion Chief Steve Coltre told his driver Firefighter Ken Stout to place the chief’s marked SUV across the road.
“Stout was directed to block the scene for safety,” Bayer said.
Police Officer Lawrence “Mike” Davis then came on the scene and told Coltre to move his vehicle. Coltre refused, and a “discussion” occurred, Bayer said.
“There’s a statute that says a fire chief controls a fire scene as a matter of law, and so police officers can’t issue a ticket to a fire chief at a fire scene,” Bayer said. “Which is what happened here.”
“He distracted the chief from supervising the scene while his men were in the building,” Ron Ettenger, the firefighters’ union’s state delegate, said.
Stout received summonses for obstructing traffic and failure to display his driver’s license. Together the fines for the tickets are $255 if a guilty plea is made, Bayer said.
Trenton cop versus Trenton firefighter case likely to go to trial | NJ.com