Fla. fire chief suspended after warrant issued for assault

Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale is accused of punching a woman in the face


By Janelle Foskett

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Fire Department chief has been suspended with pay following allegations of assault in North Carolina.

Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale faces warrants for two misdemeanor charges of assault – one for “assault and battery” and the other for “assault on a female,” reported the Orlando Sentinel. According to the warrants, Barksdale is accused of punching a woman in the face.

Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale was appointed chief in Orlando in September 2019.
Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale was appointed chief in Orlando in September 2019.

“Chief Barksdale has been suspended with pay,” said Ashley Papagni, spokesperson for the Orlando Fire Department, in a statement. “In his absence, the acting Fire Chief will be Deputy Fire Chief Craig Buckley.”

WFTV reported that the charges stem from an incident at a restaurant last month.

Barksdale was appointed chief in September 2019. He previously served as deputy fire chief in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

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