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Detroit firefighter suspended after punching man

Jimmie Wilson said he confronted the firefighters about them not seeing him as they were backing up the fire engine



By Bill Carey

DETROIT — A Detroit firefighter is suspended and may face criminal charges after video showed him getting into an altercation with a man and punching him.

On June 30, Jimmie Wilson was walking home from work when he came across Detroit firefighters in their fire engine, making a U-turn on a residential street, WXYZ reported.

“As I am walking by, the fire truck is pushing back,” Wilson said. “I am pretty sure I thought he saw me. But he kept backing back. I said ‘Hey!’ Just to alert him, and I kept going.”

Nearby surveillance video, without sound, shows Wilson approaching the fire engine as it was backing up.

“I said you all need to watch where the (expletive) you going,” Wilson said. “As soon as I said that it was like I saw the passenger door open. And before that, he’s in my face.”

The video shows the firefighters getting out and then becoming involved in a physical confrontation with Wilson. The firefighter who punched Wilson has been suspended, WDIV reported. 

Firefighters told Detroit police that Wilson threw the first punch, however there is no camera angle to show what happened on the other side of the fire engine.

Executive Fire Commissioner Chuck Simms issued a statement:

“Based on my concerns after reviewing the video of this incident last week, the firefighter involved was immediately placed on leave while a further investigation is conducted. Given the anticipated lawsuit and the fact the prosecutor is reviewing this case, it would be inappropriate to comment further on this matter at this time.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing warrants for both the firefighter and Wilson.