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Fire department PIO arrested for crash scene photos in Connecticut

Chesterfield Fire Company's Steve Frischling is accused of violating Joshua's Law

From Chesterfield Fire Company PIO Facebook page

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This is an interesting interpretation of Connecticut’s Joshua’s Law preventing some photography by fire, EMS and police at emergency scenes. Read more from Curt Varone at

Tara O’Neill,

The public information officer for the Chesterfield Fire Company has been charged in connection with crash scene photos he took without permission and posted to his agency’s Facebook page last month, according to an arrest warrant.

Steven E. Frischling, 45, of Carriage Hill Drive in Niantic, was charged with two counts of illegally taking or transmission by first responders of images of crime or accident victims, according to his arrest warrant.

In an email to Hearst Connecticut Media on Thursday, Frischling confirmed he is still actively serving in his PIO role “with no changes to my duties or responsibilities.”

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Sten Spinella, The Day:

A state police criminal information summary said the Montville Police Department began investigating a Facebook post from Frischling on Feb. 7.

“Through the course of the investigation, the accused … was found to have posted photographs of victims at an accident scene on social media websites without permission,” the summary reads. Montville police, with the assistance of East Lyme police, arrested him at his home.

Reached by phone Tuesday night, Frischling said he was arrested in front of his children. He believes the arrest has something to do with an “axe to grind” against him related in part to his tense relationship with former town fire marshal Bill Bundy. Bundy declined to comment for this story.

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Ellyn Santiago,

The law says any first responder or ambulance driver who responds to a crime or accident scene cannot take a photo of a victim without consent and cannot share that photo, but notes that an exception is for a first responder who takes images “in the performance of his or her duties…”

In an email to Patch with the criminal charging documents attached, Lt. David Radford wrote that the victim did not want his photo taken and did not know, nor wish, for it to be posted to Facebook. Radford also said that a child related to the car crash victim was “affected by the crash and believes it could be due to the Facebook post.”

Radford wrote in a report that, “…nobody involved in the crash had even known that the crash scene was posted on Facebook.”

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This evening your Montville Police Department, at the direction of Montville Police Lt. Radford, issued and executed an…

Posted by Chesterfield Fire Co. PIO on Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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