It’s happened again. This time it was in Winnfield, Louisiana. Yesterday (Saturday) morning a Winn Parish Sheriff’s Department deputy arrested Winnfield Firefighter Jonathan Johnson after Johnson refused to move the pumper he was driving. Johnson said it was parked at the crash scene in a way to protect firefighters and EMS as they dealt with a minor accident.
Winnfield firefighter Jonathan Johnson was taken from the scene of a two-vehicle accident for continuing to block traffic with a fire engine. Johnson was one of two members of the city fire department to respond to the call — which is standard operating procedure for the department, Fire Chief James Keith said — arriving at 7:12 a.m. with the engine and a rescue unit.
He blocked traffic with the engine around the wreck that had occurred in a turning lane of a four-lane road. Keith said Johnson parked the vehicle for scene safety and turned his attention to the driver to check for injuries with the paramedic.
Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan said the accident was minor and did not warrant a fire engine. There were no injuries.
“I was parish fire chief before I was sheriff,” he said. “We need a close working relationship with everybody. There are times to block the road. An officer or fireman has to use his judgment.”
Jonathan Johnson, the a Winnfield fire fighter, says, “I explained to him that it was part of my duty to protect the scene and make it a safe working area. He told me there was no fire and a truck wasn’t necessary. I told him we were working the accident which required a truck. “
Johnson says a sheriff’s deputy followed him back to the fire station and then attempted to physically drag him out of the fire truck. He says he was then placed in a car and told he was under arrest.
The fire department claims the sheriff’s deputy acted with unnecessary force during the event. The fire fighter was then taken to the courthouse where he was left shackled to a bench.
“It was embarrassing. It was bad,” says Johnson.
The sheriff’s department says they did not do anything out of the ordinary during the incident