Nate Jobe of the North Hyde Park/Eden Fire Department on the left and Sydney Mclean-Lipinski on the right. In a press release, Vermont State Police said they did not have a processing photo of Joshua Kapusta.
Vermont State Police arrested three Lamoille County, Vermont volunteer firefighters on unlawful restraint and simple assault charges after what police are calling a “practical joke” that was reported as hazing. The three firefighters charged are in their 20s and are from two different departments. The victim is 16-years-old and, according to police, was able to flee after being lured to the Hyde Park firehouse as part of training.
According to John Briggs & Mike Donoghue at the Burlington Free Press, the three firefighters are 25-year-old Sydney Mclean-Lipinski and 24-year-old Joshua Kapusta of the Hyde Park Town Fire Department and 21-year-old Nate Jobe of the North Hyde Park/Eden Fire Department. (Read more about both departments here.)
Vermont State Police says the boy had welts and marks on him but was not hospitalized.
Burlington Free Press:
Detective Sgt. Jake Zorn said the three suspects are accused of shooting the boy with Airsoft guns and attempting to tackle and handcuff him March 23. Airsoft guns are replica firearms that fire plastic pellets or BBs.
The firefighters planned to “restrain the juvenile with handcuffs and ropes, then take the juvenile for a ride in the back of a truck on bumpy roads where they would leave him in a remote part of the Town of Eden,” state police said in a news release.
The chief of the Hyde Park Town Fire Department could not be reached for comment. according to the paper. The North Hyde Park/Eden Fire Department chief says he is not aware of hazing ever occurring at his department.
The Burlington Free Press has an interesting quote from Facebook by a woman who says she knows the three firefighters:
The State Police and even the town select board should do more research before slandering the names of 3 people whom at times, risk their lives for the people of their town when called upon. They ask for no compensation, they do this because they love the job, they love the satisfaction they get from helping people. The select board needs to keep to their business and leave the Fire Department alone. Brotherhood for people who perform jobs such as firefighting is not built by coddling. You have to know that you can trust the people you are running into that burning building with wholeheartedly. I have seen my fair share of fire house pranks, this is tame in comparison.
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