San Diego firefighter suspended after arrest on underage sex charges

Justin Curtis Price was placed on unpaid leave by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department pending an internal investigation


Alex Riggins
The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego firefighter was arrested Monday on suspicion of three charges of sexually assaulting a minor, officials said Tuesday.

Justin Curtis Price, 35, was placed on unpaid leave by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department pending an internal investigation, Fire Chief Colin Stowell said in a statement.

A San Diego Police Department spokesman said Price was booked into jail on suspicion of oral copulation with a person under 18, sex with a minor and sex with a foreign object. Arrest records showed one of the charges was for an alleged act on a minor over the age of 14.

Price, who has been with the Fire Department for 10 years, is scheduled to be arraigned next Monday, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said.

“Charges will be announced at the arraignment,” the spokeswoman said in an email.

It was unclear Tuesday if Price had an attorney.

A fire engineer-paramedic assigned to emergency operations, Price was booked into county jail on Monday and released on bail later that night, a jail clerk said.

“As Fire Chief of the city of San Diego, I strongly condemn the alleged behavior and will not tolerate any actions that compromise the high standards required of all Fire Department employees,” Stowell said in his statement. “These men and women will continue to uphold the paramount principles of safety and security for all San Diegans, and will do so with the integrity expected of all city of San Diego employees.”

Price will remain suspended pending the completion of the internal investigation, according to the chief.

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©2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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