This story is getting a lot of play in the San Diego area and beyond. It surrounds a woman who came home Friday to find her home on fire. As Torazzi Hayslett ran toward the house her husband and a police officer tried to restrain her. It went downhill from there as you will see in the raw video above from the Imperial Beach Patch and read details below.
I’ve pulled video and information from a variety of sources. Included are a KGTV-TV news report that aired prior to the video surfacing (click here). It talks about the woman being restrained but a police lieutenant’s soundbite only mentions that “fire personnel attempted to restrain her”. No indication if the omission of the altercation with police was by the reporter or the lieutenant.
The same TV station later interviews a former police officer giving his opinion about the incident (click here). And they also have an interview with Torazzi Hayslett (click here).
At the bottom of the page are two videos taken by people in the neighborhood. Both capture a little bit of the early stages of the fire.
The San Diego Police Department is in the process of conducting an internal investigation into one of their own officers who’s being accused of misconduct on the job.
The police sergeant in question is Sgt. Daniel McLaughlin, who was caught on video scuffling with a woman (Torazzi Hayslett) who lives at a house that caught on fire Friday on Ilex Avenue and Green Bay Street in Nestor.
In the controversial video, McLaughlin can be seen pulling the woman’s hair after she appears to hit him in the face. The woman is hysterical, running toward her burning house during the altercation.
“Due to allegations arising from this incident, we are conducting an internal investigation into the matter,” Lt. Andra Brown, a police spokeswoman, said Saturday. “Because it is a personnel matter, we are not able to make any further comment.”
McLaughlin was involved in a 2009 incident in which a jury found that he used unreasonable force and was negligent during a sidewalk encounter that left a longtime homeless advocate injured.
The jury awarded John David Ross, also known as the “Water Man,” nearly $4,000 in damages.
On November 28, 1972 I took my first ride on the backstep of a fire engine. It was part of a demonstration for the news media (I was a 17-year-old reporter at WBJC-FM, the Community College of Baltimore radio station) of a new traffic signal control system the Baltimore City Fire Department was trying out. I recall thinking at the time how cool it might be to have one of these Optimcom strobes in your car. As it turns out, it took a while, but quite a few people are doing just that. It’s enough of a problem that Carlsbad, California is trying to do something about it.
Private drivers are starting to use illegal electronic devices to turn red lights green, Carlsbad officials said this week.
About two weeks ago, city transportation staff contacted police after an irregularity with traffic signals was noted, according to police spokeswoman Jodee Sasway. Traffic engineers found that motorists appeared to have used illegal signal preemption devices to change the lights, she said.
A driver was cited March 27 for possession of one of the devices at a traffic signal on Armada Drive. Sasway said the fine for the violation of the state Vehicle Code would start at $2,000.
Signal preemptors are usually reserved for emergency vehicles, in fact they are illegal to own in the state of California. However, they can be purchased on-line. A quick search by San Diego 6 found devices like Opticom and Priority Green. These devices work by sending an infrared transmission to the signal light and instantly it changes from red to green.
“We don’t want you to use these devices in our city and we have the capability to catch you if you do,” said Jones.
Jones says the city recently installed a traffic light system that’s now able to detect preemptive devices. By linking all 55 lights on the main corridors in town, alerts immediately surface when something isn’t right. City officials were able to detect the signal from the van with the system and within minutes the driver of the van was caught by a nearby motorcycle police officer.
A woman died Tuesday after a homemade cannon blew a projectile into a mobile home in a remote San Diego County community.
Two men, including the woman's husband, were tinkering with the cannon outside the home when it went off and sent a projectile into the home, said Capt. Mike Mohler of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Deputies confirm a man called around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday to report that he accidentally shot his 33-year-old wife with a cannon ball from his homemade cannon. He and a friend were working on the cannon. A Cal Fire dispatcher said the man had been drinking and was "freaking out."
Three San Diego firefighters were arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault in connection with a weekend run-in with two brothers on a Normal Heights roadside, authorities disclosed Tuesday.
(Captain) Vadid Cisneros, 36, Andrew Brennan, 29, and Gregory Econie, 26, allegedly attacked the siblings, ages 44 and 46, following an exchange of words near the intersection of Adams Avenue and 34th Street shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday, according to San Diego police.
The incident allegedly began when the firefighters, after a night of drinking, got into a scuffle with a man in the Normal Heights neighborhood. Minutes later, the man and his brother — both in their mid-40s — confronted the firefighters and a second fight ensued, according to officials.
One of the brothers reported being hit in the head with a rock. The firefighters allegedly took wallets from the two, and Brennen allegedly warned the two not to report the incident to police.
Along with assault and robbery, Brennen has been charged with intimidating a witness to a crime.
Two assailants restrained at least one of the victims while a third assaulted him, said police Lt. Andra Brown. One of the victims told police he thought he had been hit in the head with a rock, causing him to black out.
The attackers then took the brothers’ wallets and cellphones. Brown said one of the assailants allegedly made a threat, saying: “We know who you are and where you live.”
The victims gave vague descriptions of their attackers, and officers spotted the potential suspects shortly after in the same area. The stolen property was recovered, Brown said.
San Diego Fire Department Spokesperson Maurice Luque told NBC San Diego the men have not been placed on administrative leave, saying these are just charges and the police department is continuing its investigation.
He also said this is a personnel matter and the fire department is conducting an administrative review to see if there is grounds for any other discplinary actions.
Above is video that shows what this duplex looked like as San Diego firefighters arrived on the scene Friday around 1:30 PM. The two-alarm fire was in the 2900 block of Bayside Lane in Mission Beach. The video below is some close-up work by a neighbor in the building next door. Click here to watch a news report about the fire.
A resident of one of the units in the three-story building just south of Belmont Park smelled smoke, opened his front door and was confronted with thick smoke, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said. The man was able to escape unharmed by jumping out a second-floor window.
The intense flames caused a home just behind the duplex to begin smoldering, but crews were able to keep it from catching fire, according to Luque.
Taking the LODD social media column to heart: We already know of at least one IAFF local that suggested its members read yesterday’s column on the race that now occurs between official notification of next-of-kin and postings on Facebook after a LODD or serious injury. A little education from the union trying to make sure its own members or their families don’t contribute to this problem in the event such a tragic situation were to strike the department. Here’s the column.
Georgia cell phone camera video at fatal crash still making the news: If you haven’t heard by now, Spalding County, Georgia has called for an outside investigation of the video made by a firefighter of a dead woman at a crash scene. The firefighter involved remains on suspension. Here’s the latest.
West Virginia volunteer dies in her own burning home: In Summers County the Green Sulphur District Fire Department responded to a blaze at the home of one of its members. Shawnna Toth died inside the home, but her family escaped. Read the story.
Volunteer claims there are “felons” all around him in the fire department: With his identity hidden a volunteer firefighter in Las Cruces, New Mexico has told KFOX-TV that a lack of background checks has allowed close to a dozen people to be firefighters who shouldn’t be. He also says some people without driver’s permits are driving fire trucks. Read and watch the story.
Buffalo air supply unit involved in hit and run: A firefighter is on leave without pay after being accused of failing to report he ran the rig into a brick building doing a total of about $80,000 to the structure and the truck. Here’s more.
Flint, Michigan’s new layoff talks has people looking very closely at SAFER grant: Flint’s mayor doesn’t think the feds would hold the city to its no layoff requirement that it agreed to get grant money allowing the city to rehire firefighters from previous rounds of layoffs. But the SAFER language seems pretty clear on this issue. Mayor Dayne Walling wants double digit concessions from the public safety unions to prevent the new layoffs. Read details.
“Carl is the most shameless politician in San Diego history”: A nasty battle between the firefighters’ union and City Councilman Carl DeMaio. After DeMaio criticized extra pay received by firefighters the union pointed out Demaio’s staff received raises when firefighters and police were getting pay cuts. Here’s more.
Early video from Alberta, Canada: This was shot in Three Hills. The description indicates it is one of two suspicious fires being investigated by the RCMP.
Fire on the 27th floor with a mayday: We have fireground audio from the fire that began last night in the historic 36-story JP Morgan Chase Building in Downtown Houston. The firefighters had to deal with standpipe issues. At least five firefighters received non-life threatening injuries. Click here for our coverage.
Arresting the flames: A trio of videos showing uniformed police officers handling fire duties. Check it out.
Loudoun County, Virginia company hit with resignation of chief and four others: Leesburg Today reports the sudden departure of the chief and others from the Middleburg VFD may be connected to an investigation by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. The paper says no details are being provided explaining what this is all about. Whatever the reason the actions have an impact on staffing. Here’s the story.
It depends which way you look at it: A very interesting article that shows the San Diego Fire Department spends more per firefighter ($210,600) than any of the top 15 cities in the country. But at the same time the survey indicates San Diego actually spends less per resident on fire protection than all but two of the departments. Click here for the story and the chart comparing the costs.
A picture by Werner Ennesser at Sunday's event in Arlington County, Virginia.
Lots of pictures from Iron & Steel event: Despite a somewhat controversial start, by all accounts the Iron & Steel Run to the National Capital Region was a wonderful event on Sunday. Click here for video as the group went through Prince George’s County and pictures of the ceremony as the World Trade Center steel was brought to Arlington County Fire Station 5.
Firefighters may soon be allowed to drive ambulances: It is a controversy WIS-TV brought to light in 2008. Now it looks as if Columbia, South Carolina firefighters will soon be considered first responders and be able to get behind the wheel of Richland County ambulances. Check out the update.
Firefighter accused of burglary at his own firehouse: Click here for the details of a break-in at the Pine River VFD in Lincoln County, Wisconsin. Thanks to surveillance video a now former 28-year-old volunteer and two 16-year-olds have been charged.
Know your neighbors: Firegeezer has the story of the meth lab that took out an apartment building in Des Moines over the weekend.
Dispatcher credited with save: A look at the work of a dispatcher who helped guide people to safety during a weekend apartment fire in Austin, Texas. Click here.
Exposure problem in Waterbury, Connecticut: Anthony DeLucia at FirstDueFirePhotos.com shot the video and pictures in this clip. More can be found here. The fire yesterday afternoon on Summit Street damaged three homes. Two were vacant and one was occupied. Read more.
Radio traffic & interview with injured firefighter after underwater close call: Dave Danielson, anLAFD firefighter who trains others in swift water operations. had to be rescued himself on Tuesday. He was supposed to be a “victim” in an exercise when the role playing became very real. Some tense moments in a near drowning situation. Listen to the rescue operation and Danielson’s interview.
False calls traced to the firehouse, apparently fitting a pattern for this firefighter: In Bexar County, Texas, officials traced a series of false calls to a cell phone used by a volunteer firefighter inside the Jarret Volunteer Fire Department in Von Ormy. According to MySanAntonio.com, this is a repeat performance for Quinton Arnold- ”While he was a volunteer firefighter at another Bexar County department, he confessed to making a bomb threat to a middle school from the fire station’s phone, the affidavit states”. Read the story.
One out, three suspended after Pittsburgh EMS snow mess: Details on the discipline handed down after the February incident where a dying man didn’t get transported in the snow. Here’s our coverage.
Geezer covers the brown-out ballet in San Diego: A fatal fire near a closed fire station in San Diego and everyone is doing the dance. It is another one of those patterns that repeats itself in communities across the country during tough economic times. Some fire chiefs are blunt and admit to the citizens response times will go up and, just like they tell the public on most other occasions, every second does still count in an emergency. Others can’t or won’t go that route. They will join their bosses and other political leaders making the case the closed fire station played no factor in the death, serious injury or loss of property. And who am I to say they are wrong? But if that is the argument you are making, isn’t it fair for a reporter to ask, if the fire station’s closing really has no impact, why not just keep it closed and why have you been spending all of that money to fund it for all these years? My experience with rotating closures is that it gives council members or supervisors the ability to not make the tough decision. Bill Schumm gives his view on the the latest dust-up to fit this scenario.
Rescue reprimand is rescinded: An interesting story from Jeffersonville, Indiana where last August a firefighter trying to rescue a couple from their flooded basement also became trapped. There was a bit of a controversy over who was pulled to safety first. That’s now been settled. Read more.
UPDATED Firefighter charged in shower peeping incident is fired, but says it was a pranl: Carlos Marti is no longer a St. Lucie County, Florida firefighter after last week’s incident where a paramedic intern was watched as she took a shower. Marti’s story is that he was going to play a prank on her similar to what was done to him as a new firefighter and dump flour on her in the shower. Read the details.
Teen sought for impersonating fire officials: Fire marshals in Wilmington, Delaware and the state are looking for 18-year-old Dwight Snead, who they say has a past of pretending to be a firefighter or fire marshal. He also is believed to also frequent Philly. Here’s the story and his picture.
Cleveland church fire video: A large 1880′s church, apparently hit by lightning, had only the walls left standing. Check out the video.
MERV will be right back: More precisely at 11:00 AM EDT today, so the press can get a close-up view of Metro’s new Mobile Emergency Response Vehicle, described in a WMATA press release as “portable, battery-operated, motorized carts that run along Metrorail tracks.” Arlington County’s press release in February has more - U.S. Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative provided an $860,000 grant to buy 26 MERVs that will be used in long distance tunnel. Made of aluminum, the MERVs fold up and can be carried by responders. MERVs were used by the London Fire Brigade in response to the terrorist attack on London transit. Members of the Council of Government’s Fire Chiefs Passenger Rail Safety Subcommittee (made up of firefighters representing local governments in the National Capitol Region serviced by Metro) attended a conference in London to evaluate lessons learned.
Basement fire in St. Louis: Fire on Friday at 3337 Missouri Avenue. It is a described as a two-story, two-family flat. It had burglar bars on the basement windows that a firefighter aggressively attacks.
CapeCodOnline.com photo of Lt. Kelli Weeks. For the first time we are getting details on the charges against Weeks who has been at the center of a lot of drama in the department. Click the image for the latest.
Did FDNY EMS crew on break refuse to help dying pregnant woman?: That’s the claim in Brooklyn following an incident at a coffee shop near FDNY HQ. Read more.
Chief Ellerbe speaks: Sarasota Chief Kenneth Ellerbe assures those in Florida he is not coming back to Washington despite still being on the DC payroll. We also hear from Joe Morgan, the critically burned firefighter who didn’t quite find it as easy to stay on the fire department’s rolls. Check it out.
Cheating scandal widens: Two Omaha, Nebraska firefighters are now implicated in the effort to give test answers to new applicants of the Papillion Fire Department. In October and November we first mentioned the cheating scandal that required officials to throw out the test and discipline some employees. Omaha World-Tribune has received a confidential report about the incident that quotes one of the firefighters saying it is part of the “brotherhood” to “help” family and friends get on the job. Click here for the update.
Chief in trouble again: Eunice, New Mexico Chief Ron Grogan and a bunch of his firefighters are charged with theft of a radar detector which was evidence at a crime scene. Grogan also made headlines in September after he was accused of fondling a woman. Click here.
Sorry, you are too late. STATter911.com again becomes a video killer. When we first spotted it late Sunday there was just one view on this video of firefighters from PGFD Station 807 being towed behind a pickup truck through the streets of Riverdale Park, Maryland. A few hundred views later and after a series of negative comments by STATter911.com readers, the video was pulled overnight. You can click the image for the comments.
What were they thinking?: It appears that Tampa’s MJ Morning Show crew got what they wanted. That would include a blazing fire from turkey fryer inside a van and a lot of publicity. But will this stunt end up giving them a little MORE than they wanted, once fire investigators finish up? Click here for our first posting on this stupid act. Then click here as Dave points out that one of the radio crew’s biggest crimes is that they weren’t even funny and constrasts it to a radio turkey stunt that was hilarious.
Geezer’s weekend stuff: Lots of entries by Bill Schumm at Firegeezer.com, but my favorite is a picture of the set up inside a vehicle that might make many a mobile command post jealous. Click here.
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up: That’s probably what Konrad would have yelled if he could. But Konrad is a horse. And this horse slipped on the ice and had a great fall (miserable winter though). A three hour drama in Connecticut ended happily after firefighters put Konrad back together again. Click here and here.
San Diego commercial fire: This is from a week ago after a two-alarm fire destroyed Blowout Video and the largest selection of DVDs in the area, along with the corporate office of Showgirls, a strip club business.