We continue to get a lot requests for an update on what is the most popular story (by far) ever in the almost seven year history of STATter911.com. But until today there hasn’t been much to report on the handcuffing February 4 of Chula Vista Fire Department Engineer Jacob Gregoire by a California Highway Patrol officer at the scene of a highway crash. The dispute was over Gregoire refusing to remove the fire engine he was operating because it was protecting firefighters on the scene who were still treating patients.
Yesterday, for the first time, in what is being called an “exclusive” report, KFMB-TV has identified the CHP officer involved in the incident. The use of the word “exclusive” had me geared to expect the TV station found some kind of a real bad information about the officer. That does not appear to be the case. It’s mostly favorable information in the video above and article below.
We’ve spoken to 19-year department veteran Officer Sergio Flores many times, but it was earlier this month when he found himself thrust into the national spotlight after he handcuffed and detained Gregoire at the scene of a traffic accident that left two people injured.
A longtime South Bay firefighter, who wanted his identity and voice concealed, says he’s been on many scenes with Officer Flores, with mostly favorable results. However, there was a recent call where he says there were tensions.
“We had an incident with him before where there was a little confusion on what was going on. This is where the communication between the agencies would help, understanding their policies and our policies for transporting somebody that’s under arrest that needs medical attention,” the firefighter said.
Since this story broke, we’ve heard from several law enforcement sources who say that Officer Flores does not have a quick temper. In fact, they tell us he’s been honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his efforts to keep our roads safe. But they do wonder why the CHP has remained virtually silent about this incident, which in their minds is giving the agency a public black eye.
The firefighter we spoke to is hoping the video will serve as a training tool to avoid something like this from ever happening again.
“Everybody has bad days. Let’s learn from it and move on,” he said.