Firefighters must present a criminal defense to cruelty charges

On Behalf of Sanchez Burke, LLC

An extremely unusual criminal matter has come out of the Shreveport area. At least four firefighters at a Shreveport fire station have been arrested by Louisiana authorities and must present a criminal defense to charges of cruelty to the infirm relating to two mentally disabled men who hung out at the fire station. Apparently, all four are also charged with being a principal to prostitution in that they allegedly hired a prostitute for one of the disabled men.

The senior firefighter among the accused is a 50-year-old SFD captain with 23 years of service to the department. He’s the only back person involved in the charges. He’s accused of participating in hiring a prostitute for one mentally disabled man who had become a ‘mascot’ of sorts at the station. All four men are charged with a crime consisting of exposing that man and another disabled man to cruel pranks and humiliation, in addition to the prostitution charge.

The disabled men were apparently teens at the time of the charges but are adults now. They apparently did not complain, and it’s reported that the accused men are very close to the disabled men and their families. It’s reported that the firefighters sent them as kids to Disney World. Reportedly, the complaint came from an unidentified co-worker.

In addition to the 50-year-old captain, authorities arrested a 26-year-old firefighter, a 37 year-old-engineer, and a 34-year-old firefighter Jason. Seven SFD employees have been put on leave as a result of the internal investigation, initiated after a complaint from another employee. It’s reported that the fire chief made an initial investigation and dismissed it as ‘rumors’ and the complaints of a disgruntled employee.

Louisiana criminal defense counsel will be motivated to aggressively fight these charges. A conviction could ruin their careers and make their lives forever haunted by the stigma. The prostitution allegation seems petty and misplaced; even if it happened, it doesn’t conjure up images of abuse or hurtfulness but instead could easily evidence an act of questionable judgment in trying to express compassion for the man. The so-called pranks will rise or fall on their facts, after thorough investigations are completed.

Source:, “Firefighter attorney raises concerns about political maneuvering,” Carolyn Roy, Aug. 13, 2013

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