Man arrested for assaulting firefighter

Manarrested for assaulting firefighter

9 March 2008

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Texas, USA — An elderly Anderson County man was arrestedlate Saturday afternoon after he allegedly attempted to run over volunteerfirefighters who were battling a grass fire on his property.

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said deputies arrested John T. Vinson, 73,Saturday on a charge of assaulting a public servant after the man reportedlydrove a four-wheeler into a Westside Volunteer Fire Department firefighter andthreatened to harm others.

Firefighters from Tucker and Westside Volunteer Fire Departments were called tofight a grass fire on ACR 2134 around 4 p.m., Taylor said, which apparentlystarted when sparks from an earlier fire ignited in Vinson’s pasture and blewacross a fence into a wooded area on a neighbor’s property.

When firefighters came onto Vinson’s land to put out the fire on his side ofthe fence, the man reportedly became upset, Taylor said.

“He came up to one of the firefighters on his four-wheeler and said not to putit out,” Taylor said.

When firefighters continued to try to extinguish the fire, the man drove thefour-wheeler at them, striking and injuring a Westside volunteer, Taylor said.

“He purposely ran into the fireman,” he said. “(The firefighter) wastransported from the scene with a knee injury.”

Vinson also allegedly threatened to get a gun from his home but was preventedfrom doing so, said the sheriff, who responded to the call along with deputiesand Constable Doug Lightfoot.

“It’s unfortunate, an elderly gentleman like that,” Taylor said ofVinson’s arrest. “We really didn’t have a choice.

“(The volunteer firefighters) are out there trying to perform a publicservice,” he added.

The Texas Forest Service also assisted with containing the fire.

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