NEW ROADS, La. – During a Monday night emergency, a police officer handcuffed and detained a volunteer firefighter after the firefighter refused to move his fire truck.
The emergency call was made around 10 p.m. in the 100 block of Cherry Street. The incident was caught on surveillance camera at the Housing Authority in New Roads.
Video footage reveals that the firefighter arrived on the scene first, and turned on his emergency lights after he parked his fire truck. Paramedics arrived seconds later.
Onlooker Joyce Harris, who watched the scene unfold from a neighbor’s house, recalls that when a New Roads police officer arrived on the scene, he immediately demanded that the firefighter move his truck from the street. When the firefighter refused to comply, the officer placed him in handcuffs and detained him in the back of a police car for nearly 15 minutes.
“I think what his problem was, was an ego thing,” Harris said of the police officer.
“They are supposed to protect and serve life, and here they are arresting the people that’s trying to help,” she continued.
One paramedic, who could not go on camera, deemed the officer’s actions one of the most unprofessional things he’s witnessed throughout the entirety of his career.
The police officer’s actions are potentially in violation of state law RS 14:327, which states that it is “unlawful for any person…[to be] intentionally hindering, delaying, hampering, interfering with, or impeding the progress of any regularly employed member of the fire department…or any volunteer fireman.” If convicted of violating this law, the officer will face hefty fines and possible jail time.
“This is very disheartening, very disappointing and very embarrassing,” Harris said.
Police Chief Kevin McDonald said that the issue has been resolved, but, apart from stating that the officer in question will not be disciplined, McDonald refused to elaborate.