Modesto is facing potential legal trouble after one of its firefighters reportedly tripped and fell on a third-grader and broke her arm during a Fire Department safety event called the Clown Program, in which firefighters dress up as clowns and superheroes as they teach schoolchildren such basics as when to call 911 and how to get out of a burning house.
The incident happened Oct. 8 at Sonoma Elementary School, according to a claim filed this month against Modesto by the San Francisco-based law office of Tanya Gomerman. The firm represents third-grader Camila Gomez and her family.
The claim states firefighter Rod Riley and fire engineer Tommy Dick were playing with a ball against a wall as students watched. “Rod Riley was attempting to catch the ball and tripped over this group of students, causing him to fall on top of Camila Gomez,” the claim states.
The video and Facebook post below show the Modesto Fire Department Clown Program in operation at schools other than where this incident occured.