Criminal Charges Against Hillsborough Firefighters Dropped by St Pete PD

Criminal charges against two Hillsborough County firefighters who were arrested in a high-profile incident in St. Petersburg last month have been dropped, and an investigation started against one of the arresting officers.

The incident occurred in a bar in St. Petersburg while Hillsborough County firefighters Clint Walker and Robert Ramirez were off duty. It was captured on a security video that shows a highly decorated St. Petersburg police officer, Ruben Dejesus, tasering firefighter Clint Walker and then kicking him in the groin after he was on the ground, subdued. Dejesus also assaulted firefighter Robert Ramirez.

It appears that Dejesus mistakenly identified Walker as a suspect in an earlier assault that took place in the bar. The firefighters have retained an attorney who expressed plans to file suit against the officer and the City of St. Petersburg over the incident.

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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