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Fire chiefs pulling weapons made the news twice this week. One of the incidents occurred inside the Celeste Volunteer Fire Department in Texas. Police say a fight Monday between Chief Joseph Horton and a firefighter resulted in the chief pulling a knife. In Pennsylvania, James Kutz, the chief of the Woodlawn Fire Company in South Whitehall made news because of criminal charges filed in January for a November incident where he’s accused of pulling a gun on a Boy Scout who left a flyer at his door. According to news reports Kutz is also a captain with the Allentown Fire Department. Details on both stories below.
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office reported deputies responded at approximately 8 p.m. Monday to an assault in progress at the department, at 102 South 2nd Street in Celeste.
The initial investigation determined a verbal altercation escalated into a physical assault and during the confrontation it is alleged Chief Joseph Horton made threats while holding a knife.
Horton, 31, of Celeste was arrested and booked into the Hunt County Detention Center on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The fire chief for Woodlawn Fire Company in South Whitehall was recently charged with pulling a gun on a 12-year-old Boy Scout who had placed a flyer for a food drive on the door of his home, according to court records.
According to a criminal complaint, James R. Kutz, 39, told police he believed the boy was attempting to enter his home on Nov. 4. South Whitehall police spoke to the boy and another Scout who both said a man, later identified as Kutz, followed the boy to another home, pulled a gun and ordered the boy to the ground, court records show.
Kutz, who is also a captain with the Allentown Fire Department, was charged on Jan. 11 with simple assault and harassment. He was arraigned by District Judge Jacob Hammond and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.