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Man with rifle berates firefighters, goes to jail

EMA director could not tell if the man was intoxicated, but his agitation grew and he laid a hand on his rifle

By FireRescue1 Staff

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — Police and fire officials subdued an irate man with a rifle at a wildland command post Sunday night. The 56-year-old man was criticizing how firefighters were handling the Short Mountain fire.

Hawking County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Murrell told The Times News, "I don’t know if he was intoxicated, pilled up, or he just has that mentality. He started criticizing us, he started criticizing the state, then he brought the president into it. It was like a snowball getting bigger and bigger."

Michael James Campbell was reportedly upset that air tankers were not dropping water on the fire. Campbell lives less than a mile from the command post.

After his tirade, Campbell returned to his vehicle but would not leave. When police asked for his identification, he laid a hand on the rifle on the passenger seat, The Times News reports. It was then that the officer drew his weapon and he and Murrell took Campbell into custody.

Campbell was charged with aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and no driver’s license, and held without bond.

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Billy Arnold Billy Arnold Thursday, November 22, 2012 11:28:58 AM Knuckle Head!
Tracy Erwin Tracy Erwin Thursday, November 22, 2012 11:32:46 AM and that's why firefighters should carry a ccw.
John Patrick Ward John Patrick Ward Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:03:30 PM glad to see that he is sitting in a cell were he belongs.
Virginia Sattler Waterson Virginia Sattler Waterson Thursday, November 22, 2012 5:34:29 PM It's getting very scary out there. Just don't understand.
Stephen Bourassa Stephen Bourassa Friday, November 23, 2012 2:19:28 PM Actually Tracy, that is why the Police respond to incidents.
Robert Christian Robert Christian Friday, November 23, 2012 10:54:54 PM He is lucky that he actually did not get end up in the back of a med unit with GSW's.
Johnny Cassidy Johnny Cassidy Saturday, November 24, 2012 4:48:40 PM Police in my county do not respond to fires and we have to call for a few times thru the years, so it would be much safer to have ccw holders on the truck.
Jeff Allen Jeff Allen Monday, November 26, 2012 5:36:04 AM That's another great reason why more Fire/Arson Investigators like myself should have arrest powers. If this happened in my jurisdiction I don't have to depend on other law enforcement agencies to be on scene; as a police officer with the fire department I can arrest the idiot on the spot and let the firefighters focus on what they need to focus on. Stay safe.

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