Former Miami Firefighters Charged Criminally Over Prank

Four Miami firefighters who were terminated in 2017 for their role in defacing photos belonging to a black fire lieutenant are now facing criminal charges related to the incident.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office filed criminal mischief charges against Harold Santana, Kevin Meizoso, Justin Rumbaugh and Alejandro Sese for their role in the September 9, 2017 prank-gone-wrong. The men, who cooperated with the fire department’s investigation into the incident, admitted to their role in defacing family photos belonging to Lt. Robert Webster. Sese was also charged with tampering a witness.

Besides the defacing of the photos, Lt. Webster also discovered a noose draped over the photos. It remains unclear who was responsible for placing the noose. Prosecutors declined to file hate crime charges against any of the accused.

NAACP representative Brad Brown was quoted as saying: “That is sickening and the noose — the noose would not be put up over a white person’s locker. No matter how much they disliked him, the noose is there because race is involved.”

 

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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