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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2002

Toledo firefighter accused of hitting a sheriff's deputy

A Toledo firefighter charged with hitting a Lucas County sheriff's deputy was arraigned yesterday, and the fire department filed administrative charges against him regarding the alleged misconduct.

Jesse Garcia, 46, a 17-year department veteran, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct, intoxication, and resisting arrest. He was released on his own recognizance after a hearing in Toledo Municipal Court.

Also charged in the incident early Saturday at Denny's Restaurant, 3302 Secor Rd., was Jill C. Dorsey, 29, of 4021/2 Euclid Ave. She was released on her own recognizance after being arraigned on two counts of resisting arrest.

She is accused of interfering with Mr. Garcia's arrest.

Mr. Garcia is scheduled to work today at station No. 5. It will be decided later if he will remain an active firefighter or be reassigned, Fire Chief Mike Bell said.

The administrative charges allege he behaved detrimentally to the “good order and discipline” of the department; that his alleged conduct discredits the department; that he provoked or engaged in an altercation, and that he engaged in activity that could damage the department's reputation.

Tom Dugan, president of Toledo Firefighters Local 92, said he was “dumbfounded” about why the fire department didn't wait to file administrative charges.

“I question how the department can charge him when he has not yet been to court or convicted,” Mr. Dugan said, calling Mr. Garcia a “good employee and a good firefighter.”

Chief Bell said, “We attempt to maintain a standard in this organization. We're making sure the standard is being adhered to.”

Deputy Michael Smith was working an off-duty project at Denny's when a patron told him that a man and a woman went into the woman's restroom about 3 a.m. He knocked on the restroom door, and when no one answered, he went inside.

Through a crack in a stall, he saw a man and a woman engaging or trying to engage in sex.

He opened the door and told them to get dressed and that they would be leaving. He left, and they returned to their seats. He told a waitress they were being kicked out. Five to 10 minutes later, they had not left. The deputy approached and said they had to leave.

The man said he didn't have to go and was a close personal friend of the sheriff and would “have” the deputy's job, the report stated.

An altercation ensued, and the man pushed the deputy in the chest as he tried to arrest him. The deputy and the man fell on the floor of a break room, where the man hit the deputy in the jaw before a worker helped separate them and handcuff the man.

The man had to be removed from the restaurant, was yelling at the witnesses, and said the deputy assaulted him. He was taken to the Lucas County jail.

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