Marlboro Township OH Aug 18 2012 Police arrested an Atwater firefighter Wednesday for misuse of sirens and lights.
According to Marlboro Township Police Chief Ron Devies, Jeffrey D. Weisel, 24, of 4493 Fairground Road, Atwater, was charged with number of lights permitted on vehicle; horns, sirens and warning devices; reckless operation of a vehicle; three counts of making false alarms; two counts of inducing panic; and one count of disorderly conduct. The incident happened at 6:11 p.m. Wednesday on S.R. 44 north of S.R. 619 in Stark County.
Devies said the arrest tied up some loose ends on multiple reports of a silver vehicle running through the township with emergency lights and sirens. Devies said he had seen the vehicle on three occasions but was unable to pull over the vehicle because he was in a personal vehicle or on other police business, as was the case Wednesday, when he was transporting a potential suicide victim to Mercy Medical Center.
When questioning Weisel about his use of the emergency signals, Wise and Hall learned Weisel was an Atwater volunteer firefighter not on call. “One morning he said he did it because he was late for work,” Devies said, noting Weisel did not offer reasons for other instances of using the lights and siren.
Atwater Chief Mel Russell was notified, and he confirmed Weisel’s status as a firefighter, but told Devies that Weisel is not authorized to have red lights or sirens on his vehicle — a 2007 silver Chevrolet Impala.
“In order for a volunteer firefighter to do that in the state of Ohio, the vehicle first has to be inspected by an agent of the state fire marshal’s office, and it’s only legal if they are displaying the (state-approved) 4-by-4 sticker on a Maltese cross,” Devies added.
Also in the process of questioning Weisel, Devies said the arresting officers learned he had been a security guard for EnerVest at an oil drilling station in the 10900 block of Edison Street, where four incidents had been reported earlier this year, including one assault on Marlboro Township Police Officer Donald Worthy.
Weisel’s previous incident reports mentioned a man allegedly firing a shotgun from a green truck (at 4:15 a.m. March 27), when no casings were recovered; two males who allegedly approached him and refused to leave (at 9:53 p.m. May 11); and a heavyset white male who approached him and struck him with a handgun (May 25).
“The common denominator on all these reports is he was the security guard,” Devies said, adding Weisel admitted to fabricating the incidents, yet again offered no reason as to why he reported false information. “For the false alarms, he didn’t know why he did the first two, but the last one he had the flu, and wanted to go home,” Devies continued.
Weisel has since been discharged from his duties by EnerVest. He will appear today for arraignment in Alliance Municipal Court.
“It gives us peace of mind knowing that while there was one (real) incident … this was the product of an overactive imagination,” Devies concluded.