By Drew Winchester
The Charlotte Sun
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — In the 15 years Lt. John Jensen has served with Charlotte County Fire/EMS, last Friday was the first time anyone swung a shovel at his head.
Jensen was allegedly struck in the helmet with a shovel by Gregory Sean Turner, 44, when fire personnel responded to reports of an illegal burn at his home in the 3100 block of Pine Tree St., Port Charlotte.
According to a report, Turner was burning mattress springs, blinds, a ceiling fan and other home appliances in his backyard, but became irate when fire personnel told him to extinguish the blaze.
Turner cursed at Jensen, the report states, and when fire personnel returned to the backyard with a hose to put out the fire, Turner started walking toward Jensen in an aggressive manner, holding the shovel. Jensen sprayed Turner with the hose, but Turner then started swinging the shovel wildly, eventually hitting Jensen in the head, according to the report.
Turner was charged with aggravated battery on a firefighter with a deadly weapon, and preventing or obstructing extinguishment of a fire in connection with the incident. He was arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail, where he remains on $27,500 bond.
Jensen was not injured in the attack. He said it's not unusual to come across people who are upset while responding to a call, but described Turner's behavior as "unhinged."
People, for the most part, simply extinguish the fire they're asked to put out even though they're upset, but Turner was adamant that he didn't want anyone on his property, especially someone telling him what to do, Jensen said.
"There's a lot of stuff we expect, but that's the first time I've come across something like that," Jensen said. "You always try to be situationally aware, but that was definitely unusual."
Turner's arraignment date is Jan. 14.
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