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A weekend fight at a Cranston Rhode Island firehouse has brought the arrest of a deputy chief who is also the union president. Rhode Island State Police charged Deputy Chief Paul Valletta, with assaulting Lt. Scott Bergantino on Saturday at Station 6. Deputy Chief Valletta is the president of IAFF Local 1363 and State House lobbyist for the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters.
According to the police affidavit obtained by Parker Gavigan at WJAR-TV, the two began a loud argument about overtime that apparently got out of control when the lieutenant mentioned the deputy chief’s mother.
Their argument turned physical, said Bergantino, who told detectives Valletta pushed him up against a chalkboard, punched him in the head two times and then threw him over a recliner and onto the floor.
After other firemen separated them, Bergantino said Valletta told him, “Don’t’ worry, I’ll run into you again,” said the report.
State Police detectives questioned other firemen who witnessed the altercation, and listened to a supposed recording of the incident, given to them by Bergantino.
Detectives said they could hear swearing back and forth on the recording and then Bergantino say “Go f*** your mother!”.
Private Michael Cabral Jr. told police he heard the mother insult and witnessed the deputy chief punch Bergantino in the area of the head “multiple times.”
Detectives said they could hear an unidentified firefighter say, “Chief stop, stop. Chief, come on, stop.”
Valletta could then be heard yelling back, “Don’t you ever say that about my mother… call me every name in the book, don’t be saying anything about my mother.”