BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several Fallston firefighters are facing criminal charges ranging from harassment to attempted first-degree rape of a 17-year-old boy.
Investigators have not yet named the three current firefighters and one former member of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company, but say their behavior went on for months.
“The accusations that have now led to charges are troubling,” says Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.
The four men were charged last week, according to officials. But Gahler says the list of suspects ends there.
“That anyone would be subjected to this sort of behavior in any institution, I think is egregious,” says Gahler.”I think it’s egregious to the public. I think it’s egregious to the rest of Fallston fire.”
Neither deputies nor firefighters have given exact details on what allegedly happened inside the firehouse, but Fallston Fire Chief Will Rosenberg tells WJZ Reporter Kimberly Eiten he’s disgusted.
Rosenberg issued the following statement:
“Our very assertive posture will continue, as we remain focused and vigilant in rooting out and removing anyone from our ranks who engages in illegal, immoral or unethical behavior. It simply won’t be tolerated, everyone is accountable. Personally, I am both angry and disgusted by the assertions as the alleged behavior is not acceptable by any standard, particularly the highly principled threshold we demand among our members.
“Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company service has not been interrupted and we continue to fulfill our mission of serving and protecting the community through the administration of fire, rescue and EMS services — an unwavering commitment many have had since the company was founded more than 40 years ago. While we anticipate and fully understand requests for more substantive media interviews, we will not release any additional information – we must remain respectful to the integrity of the criminal justice process. Thank you for your patience and understanding our stance. There is nothing more important to both our internal and external community than trust and I will continue to do everything in my power to transparently uphold that firm commitment.”
Rosenberg tells WJZ he turned the firefighters in to deputies after learning that they may have been breaking the law from June until late November.
“Upholding the oath to serve and protect… starting in his own department.
Gahler says Rosenberg’s actions allowed Harford County investigators to work quickly.
“Many, many men and women volunteer their services here in Harford County, and they do a great job. When something like this happens, it stains the whole of the effort,” says Gahler.
Once deputies finish serving warrants and criminal summons, the sheriff says he will release the names of the four suspects.
Officials say the three current members of Fallston Fire are off duty and barred from the firehouse until the outcome of the criminal cases.