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Fire captain arrested for apparatus placement awarded $17,500 in Mo.

By Robert Patrick
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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HAZELWOOD, Mo. — Federal court jurors awarded $17,500 on Wednesday to a fire captain arrested by a Hazelwood police officer in a dispute over where a firetruck was parked during a 2003 car crash rescue.
Juror Betsy Vennemann said after the verdict, "We wanted to make a statement that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."

Capt. David Wilson won $7,500 in compensatory damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.

Jurors, including a nun, said they went easy on the defendant, Officer Todd Greeves, because he has a family and they weren't sure who would pay the bill.

Wilson testified that the Robertson Fire Protection District truck was parked in a way to protect rescuers working to free a victim from wreckage along Interstate 270 at McDonnell Boulevard.

Greeves ordered that the truck be moved to accommodate passing traffic and arrested Wilson for ignoring him.

Full story: Fire captain arrested for apparatus placement awarded $17,500 in Mo.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Friday, May 17, 2013 4:54:16 PM The crash victim should sue him and the police department as well.
Don Craig Don Craig Sunday, June 02, 2013 9:59:29 AM I wish that these judgements were paid out from the PEOPLE who committed the act of asshattery, and not be paid by taxpayers. "Jurors, including a nun, said they went easy on the defendant, Officer Todd Greeves, because he has a family and they weren't sure who would pay the bill." So what? If I caused a crash or did something stupid that caused a judgement against me, the ability to pay rarely is a factor.
Laurice M. Tatum Laurice M. Tatum Monday, October 07, 2013 12:01:39 PM Just goes to show that "stupid is as stupid does. Offer Greeves acted in an irresponsible way. He used no judgement or common since. I been in law enforcement and investigative work for over 28 years an this action is at the top of the stupid list. Not only should this officer had been sued but also the Police Chief, City council, and humans resources that hired this guy. God Bless the citizen Hazelwood.
Randy Feigel Randy Feigel Monday, October 07, 2013 5:25:49 PM they must be REALY REALY trying hard to find such stupid assinine tyrannical idiots to fill cop ranks these days- he should have been arrested for intefering with fireman duty
Randy Feigel Randy Feigel Monday, October 07, 2013 5:27:34 PM fat fuckin slob
Divineunderbass Divineunderbass Thursday, October 17, 2013 4:59:07 PM for sure
Christopher Roden Christopher Roden Saturday, October 19, 2013 4:19:34 AM fire dept needs to be in charge of public safety especially on scene of an accident. they should have jurisdiction and seperate powers so they cant do things to each other. we dont need cops there and on scene commander was the firechief not the nazi cop
John Monahan John Monahan Friday, December 20, 2013 7:22:03 PM Police and fire have different responsibilities at the scene of an emergency. Police are primarily concerned about traffic. If making the scene safe for the firefighters and the victims makes a traffic headache for police tough. For years we had problems with police parking in front of buildings that were on fire or behind a ladder truck when we needed to get ladders out the back of it but can't with the cruiser parked behind it.
Muhammad Noor Haiqal Muhammad Noor Haiqal Wednesday, February 05, 2014 5:18:50 AM fire dept and police dept are still connected.
Billy Sweat Billy Sweat Wednesday, February 05, 2014 2:07:05 PM Any police officer with this attitude needs to loss his job, period.
Danny Bowes Danny Bowes Wednesday, February 05, 2014 6:11:24 PM Absolutely. That cop interfered in the rescue of the victim.
Michael Little Michael Little Wednesday, February 05, 2014 9:50:09 PM Same thing just happened in Chula Vista CA yesterday. Not sure which is more important here. The lives of the 10 or so firefighters and paramedics along w/the injured patient or traffic flow? I understand that as congested as SoCal freeways can get it could be an issue, but blocking off an extra lane with a 20,000+lb fire truck to insure safety of the first responders IN MY OPINION takes precedent over keeping traffic moving in an extra lane. Video here...
Joannah Yu Joannah Yu Wednesday, February 05, 2014 9:55:19 PM Men do very irrational and stupid things when their ego is hurt or bruised. Just ask my husband.
Derek McGoy Derek McGoy Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:35:42 AM You people are so misinformed and the same thing did not happen In Chula Vista.... Fact the FF that was arrested was not treating anyone or protecting any other FF or Personnel.... First off the accident accord on the S/B lanes of traffic and the victims where in the center divide being treated by other fire personnel and CHP as well.... The engine that you say you are sure wasn't causing a traffic problem was indeed parked within the number 1 lane of the N/B side divided by a concrete center divider wall, causing a hazard for the N/B traffic that was not affected by the accident whatsoever... The drive was asked several time to move his rig and to stop impeding traffic before they cause an unnecessary accident on the N/B side of traffic the driver refused and he was dealt with in accordance with the laws of California.... And not only one law but several laws stating that the CHP are IC on state highways and freeways....So for all of you who don't live in this state don't apply your state laws and rules here because they have no merit.
J David Simcox J David Simcox Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:51:44 AM I'll pay the fine. If the fire dept. is told to move their apparatus which is usually to clear the roadway and they they don't comply than this is what happens. Ooops, should have done as he was told.
Mark Pinzon Mark Pinzon Thursday, February 06, 2014 7:10:48 AM I wonder if this cop wishes there had been a fire truck protecting him
Joe Kearns Joe Kearns Thursday, February 06, 2014 10:50:24 AM Lonnie James is a idiot.
H W Butch Clor H W Butch Clor Thursday, February 06, 2014 2:29:55 PM John, you forgot the ever typical blocking the hydrant/street you need to get down, to lay the 5" line needed at the fire.
Bert Slater Bert Slater Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:05:17 PM So I guess they should be able to tell paramedics to stop CPR to move their ambulance? Public safety trumps inconvenience every time. The professional judgement of a public safety expert trumps the police opinion of their own omnipotence. Officer discretion is what they call it when a cop thinks he has the final word. This needs to be eliminated for the betterment of all.
J David Simcox J David Simcox Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:44:52 PM Yeah make them stop cpr, moron. you read into that right. If I tell you to move the truck you'll move it or go to jail too.
Bert Slater Bert Slater Thursday, February 06, 2014 5:15:47 PM Dave Simcox , Moron? You are the one who works for Merck and not me. BTW you tell me to move my truck without clearing it with the Captain, you will find yourself under 80,000 lbs of red steel with 4 firefighters emptying their hoses on you. The police are there to assist, not command. The firefighter was highly civil, something police increasingly show themselves incapable of doing thanks to advances in technology. BTW as usual, the cop backed down. Now he should apologize. Firefighters rarely receive the respect they are due, especially from police. Quite often they carry badges too. The cop should have been in handcuffs, in the back of a fire truck.
J David Simcox J David Simcox Thursday, February 06, 2014 5:19:00 PM Wow, you can read a persons facebook page. I work there because I retired from the police department. I guess you didnt see that on my fb page. So shut the fuck up while your ahead.
Bert Slater Bert Slater Thursday, February 06, 2014 5:54:56 PM Truck vs, cruiser, truck wins every time.
Shawn Morgan Shawn Morgan Thursday, February 06, 2014 6:05:52 PM good maybe they will let you burn, not to mention who gives a damn about that communistic state of cali, bunch of remedial dummies
Shawn Morgan Shawn Morgan Thursday, February 06, 2014 6:11:01 PM Dave Simcox what a dumbass you aint gonna do shit but nuthin, run that dicksuck, come move this cowtruck and youll be mr bulls fuckboy
J David Simcox J David Simcox Thursday, February 06, 2014 6:50:29 PM Wow, that GED has sure paid off for you pal. Stick with single syllable words and you'll do just fine.
John Verrecchia John Verrecchia Thursday, February 06, 2014 7:19:58 PM This should be shared with the firefighter in California that was arrested by a CHP officer for the same thing. Or at least with the union rep of the firefighter if they are union in his department.
Bert Slater Bert Slater Thursday, February 06, 2014 7:41:06 PM Actually Derek, freeways are federal, not state. If the firefighters had no authority, they would not be here.
Steven Roberts Steven Roberts Friday, February 07, 2014 3:28:28 AM I rather die on my feet than live upon my knees. Is a quote from Emiliano Zapata... stupid pigs!!!
Lee Jordan Lee Jordan Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:33:47 AM Lonnie James WTF
Laurice M. Tatum Laurice M. Tatum Saturday, February 08, 2014 10:55:46 AM Lonnie I can provide you with a list of three Psychiatrist in your area, I strongly encourage you to seek help. God Bless you.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Sunday, February 09, 2014 10:53:44 AM I won't say the officer wasn't acting out of line, as he took this far beyond what it should have. However, I don't think the Captain was in the right, either. Jumping out of the truck is asinine, for starters. Being uncooperative and not even talking with the officer about the situation is equally as wrong. What also gets missed by the media that covered this incident is that this was NOT an accident, rather a medical call. The ambulance was already on scene caring for the patient and the LEO's were blocking the incident plus one lane of traffic to work in. The fire department arrived at the time they were preparing to remove the patient from the vehicle (note the cot sitting by the vehicle already), who as ambulatory as I understand it. The officer's request to maintain the lane of traffic open and move the apparatus wasn't out of line at all. This is a very busy highway in the StL area. Both parties screwed up here. While we (fire) may be "in command" until the patient is safe, we also have to take into considerations the very real concerns of the LEO's on scene. If we want to control the scene, we also have to learn how to control traffic properly.
Morgan Frost Morgan Frost Monday, February 10, 2014 2:30:02 PM Unfortunate mess. It could only have happened in the absence of a clear command structure for these incidents.
Mike Cutting Mike Cutting Sunday, March 16, 2014 8:44:31 PM Firemen are trained to secure the scene, the ambulance is part of the fire department's EMS. There was no criminal activity so the police officer must defer to the fire department, of which the Captain is in charge of, the police officer was not only out of line, he was civilly culpable as indicated by the award received by the fireman.
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:39:23 PM Who is out of line, the officer worried about traffic and not about the victim, or the fireman worried about safety and helping the victim?
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:44:37 PM Mike Redshaw well lets hope you never have to save a life
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:45:44 PM Both were out of line, in my opinion. The ambulance was not part of the FD, it was a different entity. They already had the patient on the cot and were caring for him. PD had traffic control in place and controlled. Not really sure what the FD even needed to be there for.
Mike Cutting Mike Cutting Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:57:57 PM Mike Redshaw EMT is almost always a part of the fire department.. as the firemen are trained in EMS, it is obvious you don't understand the hierarchy of emergency services, so feel free to get started on the Hazelwood Fire department website, which explains how the ambulance is a part of their department.
Mike Cutting Mike Cutting Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:03:03 PM Mike Redshaw wow, just noticed you're the chief of some 2 traffic light city, god help your residents.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:06:34 PM I'm well acquainted with fire and EMS. I'm a paramedic, a vollie chief, and career. Go back and read the article. The FD in question was not Hazelwood, it was Robertson FPD. It also wasn't a crash, as the story portrays. It was a medical call. I was following this story when it first happened, not just since the settlement in the story above. I've used it for training, as a matter of fact. The PD had the shoulder and first lane inside of it shut down, which is the lane the incident is in +1, as many FD's use as standard protocol. The ambulance was parked in front of the vehicle, a cruiser behind the vehicle, and another cruiser in Lane 1. There was absolutely no need for the fire apparatus to be parked in Lane 2. If it was going to be used for blocking, it should have been in Lane 1. Like I said, the officer was out of line, but so was the captain. By the way, anyone worried about safety would have jumped all over the fact the captain was jumping out of a moving vehicle. ;)
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:08:32 PM Mike Cutting - Actually, we have no traffic lights. Thanks for noticing, though.
Mike Cutting Mike Cutting Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:20:58 PM Do you listen to yourself? A crash w/ injuries would be a medical call as well... you're arguing semantics. There was already a police car in lane 1 and the ambulance could of block both lanes behind or in front of the police car.. it again it doesn't really matter, it's the captain's call. Second you defer to the highest rank, regardless of which department you belong to on the scene. Third the police defer to the Fire/EMS when the scene is safe, Fire/EMS defer to the police when the scene is not secure. If the captain wanted to park his truck there just to be closer to his lunch, it would of been his call. This is well established, otherwise every time multiple departments of police and fire showed up on a scene their would be chaos and pissing contests. Yet this is all moot since the captain won the civil case.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:37:37 PM It was not a crash, it was a medical. I believe chest pain, but I don't exactly remember. If you see the video of the whole incident and find out a bit more about it, other than what the captain's attorney wants on the news, you'll see more of the whole story. I've did so when it first happened, as I was teaching several traffic control classes around my region at the time. I've had several good, constructive discussions regarding this incident with fire, LE, and EMS personnel, as a matter of fact. But, that's been with people who can respect others opinions without trying to find ways of bashing them. Chain of command on a highway incident actually depends based upon the SOG's of the locale. In some areas, traffic control is deferred to LE and in some states LE is in control of it by statute. In any jurisdiction, LE and FD should be working together when it comes to traffic control, which is why I feel both LE and FD were irresponsible in this instance. No comment or point regarding the jumping out of a moving apparatus?
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:49:15 PM Mike Redshaw Cops talk on radio while driving, illegal. Garbage men hang off the back of a truck, illegal. Buses have no seat belts. Who cares if the guy stepped out of his truck while it was moving 1 mph. As far as I know that's not illegal. The big point to all of this is no matter what the cop was wrong. Even if the truck had no need to block the lane (which he did for safety reasons) then the most the cop should have done is ask to move it. If they refused, either ticket them or file a complaint later. HE WAS 100% WRONG to disrupt an emergency servicemen during his duty, ESPECIALLY for something that stupid.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:54:20 PM I don't know what your laws are in Ontario, but in Missouri it's not illegal for a cop to talk on the radio. Trash men don't hang on the back of the trucks anymore, at least not around here. And Missouri has a seatbelt law, so the fact he was not belted while the apparatus was moving was actually illegal. If you don't even know the laws of Missouri, how do you know the cop was totally in the wrong? If you see the whole video, you will see the cop ask the driver to move the apparatus. That is when the captain, so dedicated to the patient's well-being, left the patient and went over to tell the driver to disregard the LEO's request and then began arguing with the officer.
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:03:17 PM Mike Redshaw Actually if you watch the video the cop arrests him while hes working on the patient. And if you want to get smart about the law emergency vehicles can block off whatever they feel necessary to do their job, cops cannot arrest a man who was a) not driving the vehicle b) not the owner of the vehicle c) doing absolutely nothing wrong d) parking their vehicle on a road, the cop can ticket, call a tow truck, etc. Police have 0 authority over an emergency scene, even a crime scene they cannot interrupt ems workers from doing their job, it is against the law and violates civil rights.
Mike Cutting Mike Cutting Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:25:27 AM Mike Redshaw Why would comment on the Capt jumping out of a moving vehicle, safety of any person was never part of my argument, rather all I've been talking about was whether the officer was out of line. Its you who drew me back in with your comment about EMS not being part of a fire department, which I've already proven you wrong about. Moreover, you keep bringing up irrelevant points to validate your own statement that both the captain and officer were at fault, for example, it does not matter that you use this as a training video, it does not matter where the truck was parked, it does not matter which department everyone was from. Not only is it illogical to disrupt a rescuer while he's performing his duties, it culpable as PROVEN by the captain winning his case. If you have to block 5 lanes to secure a scene and take care of a patient, then that's what you do.... not only is it illogical to think otherwise, but it is worthy of my disrespect.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Friday, April 25, 2014 6:50:20 AM Mike Cutting - Safety is the whole point of the discussion. Isn't that supposedly why they parked the rig where they did? You pointed out that EMS was part of the Hazelwood FD, and I countered that wasn't even the FD that responded. It was the Patterson FPD, NOT Hazelwood. My point, which you apparently missed, is that I've been looking into this incident since right after it happened and made news, not just since this article. There's more to the story than this one, single article. That is the point. I'm also familiar enough with the region and goings on around there to know that prior to this incident, there were two FD's that were found liable for their part in secondary accidents due to the fact they blocked more lanes than were necessary for the incident and failed to provide proper traffic control. Traffic control at the time of this incident was a big training point in Missouri at the time, especially those departments working on Interstate highways. Nate Ownz- I won't argue with you one bit that it should have stopped at a citation. However, to think that LEO's have no authority on an emergency scene is naive, at best. If an emergency worker is violating the law, LEO's have authority to take action. The resulting question is whether or not the captain violated the law. I don't believe he necessarily did, I believe he made a poor decision in apparatus placement. At that point is where things escalated and got out of control. Had he worked with the officer, and the officer worked with the captain, I don't think this incident would have ever happened.
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Friday, April 25, 2014 7:25:25 AM Mike Redshaw that's not authority that is arresting someone for breaking the law. Which is his job, it doesn't mean he has authority over an emergency scene. His job is essentially crowd control at an emergency scene. this officer just wanted to be a big boy. And the question of violating the law is no he did not. Emergency vehicles don't follow the same traffic laws. The cop failed his job in knowing that and it was proven in court.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Friday, April 25, 2014 7:51:58 AM Nate Ownz - Emergency scenes with multiple entities are supposed to be using unified command, in which reps from all entities are working together. In this case, EMS was working the patient, LEO's were working traffic ("crowd control", if you will). FD arrived late to the party and jumped into patient care. In that situation, who is taking care of traffic? The LEO's. Assuming your'e a FF, let me ask you this. If you're working a scene and an LEO asks you or your driver (if you're busy) to move the apparatus, what is your reaction going to be? I'm not saying you have to move it, but you have to work together. To totally disregard a request by the guy who is tending to traffic is at the very least disrespectful. There were two EMT's attending to the patient and as an officer it's his job to control the scene and supervise his crew. What was so important, with two EMT's already providing care, that he could not take a minute to have a civil discussion with the officer?
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Friday, April 25, 2014 8:27:10 AM Mike Redshaw this is my last comment because you appear to have some sort of learning disability or terrible eye sight. The ff was on the ground for 10 seconds still putting on gloves as he responds to the officer, so it's not going out of the way to tell his driver and the leo that truck stays TO PROTECT EVERYONE. The leo had minutes (dont know how many since video skips) to reflect while the ff is now working the victim, then chooses to go cuff him in the middle of HELPING THE VICTIM. Police and their vehicles are often struck on highways. Why you may ask? cop cars look like cars and people not giving their full attention dont realize the parked car is actually parked and then they ram them. A firetruck is big, red and easily recognizable and ive never heard of one being struck at a scene (yes im sure it has happened but no where near as much as cop cars). Once again no matter what, even if the ff was wrong (which he wasn't), the leo was FAR MORE WRONG for arresting the ff. Done. You're wrong. No matter what you say or think.
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Friday, April 25, 2014 9:56:03 AM Nate Ownz - I guess if you're so intent that other people's opinions are wrong that you want to make personal attacks and call names, perhaps its best. I am overly familiar what it's like working on a high-traffic highway. I do it on a regular basis and trained the personnel on my career department on traffic control. I've got 19 years in Fire/EMS, 14 as a medic. I've actually read the MUTCD in regards to temporary traffic control (which I've found many FF's have never even heard of) and have taught traffic control to several departments in my region, including EMS and LEO agencies.I'm not some probie that's never been on an Interstate highway. I've seen more of this story than what you're seeing on this one article (well, part of an article), and have discussed it with fellow FF's I know from the St. Louis area, where this occurred. Perhaps you should take a bit more into consideration when you watch the video (the full-length dash cam video is out there, rather than this edited version). I'm going to give you facts here, not opinion. LEO's had the shoulder and Lane 1 blocked with patrol cars. Ambulance was parked beyond the incident, on the shoulder, in front of the vehicle. This gave the lane the incident was involved in plus one (standard procedure for most agencies). The fire apparatus park in Lane 2, not in a blocking position, but right beside the incident. If the intent was to provide a blocking position with the fire apparatus, WHY was it parked right beside the incident instead of behind, at an angle, as is standard procedure for placement of apparatus on highways? What was this apparatus protecting, exactly? It's protecting anything downstream of the flow of traffic from it. What exactly is it protecting, other than pavement or maybe a vehicle coming perpendicular to traffic?
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Friday, April 25, 2014 11:42:07 AM Mike Redshaw Creates a box so they can move freely without stepping into traffic or traffic swerving into them. You need to quit your job
Mike Redshaw Mike Redshaw Friday, April 25, 2014 1:14:48 PM Nate Ownz - I hope you'll understand if I decline career advise from a Canuck that's hundreds of miles away from me that can't handle a differing opinion without getting personal. I have a recommendation for you. Visit so you understand a bit more of where I'm coming from in regards to positioning. You'll see I'm hardly the only one that thinks a fire apparatus belongs between oncoming traffic and the incident, not beside the incident.
Nate Ownz Nate Ownz Friday, April 25, 2014 1:39:27 PM Mike Redshaw Last I checked Canada is in the top ten for education, US is top 30. You guys are involved in more wars, have a worst economy and need to buy or threaten all your allies. You SHOULD be taking advice from Canada.
Michael Glickman Michael Glickman Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:00:20 PM Who cares if the officer has a family? He should be sued to bankruptcy.
Barco Jones Barco Jones Monday, July 07, 2014 5:13:51 AM Yes, it does matter. Read what the Juror nun says, we don't want to punish innocnets here, and those are his children. Yes, this cop is an ass I totally agree! Cheers bro, Peace. ;-)
Barco Jones Barco Jones Monday, July 07, 2014 5:17:41 AM Mike Reshaw, apparently you nned a brain transplant.
Charlie Heacock Charlie Heacock Sunday, August 03, 2014 10:53:51 PM I bet if if police officers house is on fire, it will burn baby burn. Why was that cop not thinking safety?

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