W.Va. man arrested, accused of impersonating paramedic
Chief Joshua Vance said Christopher Lee Linn showed up at scenes, then joined the Wharncliffe VFD on a provisional basis and was not to go on calls
By Leila Merrill
GILBERT CREEK, W.Va. — Christopher Lee Linn, also known as Christopher Lee Beckinsale, was charged with impersonating a paramedic, grand larceny and obtaining goods under false pretenses, according to the Mingo County Sheriff’s Office. Linn was arrested last week, WOWK13 reported.
A criminal complaint states that Linn made a TikTok video on Feb. 2 saying that he was a paramedic and “provided care to an unknown individual.”
The complaint says that Linn is not certified as a paramedic in West Virginia or any other state. WOWK’s article said this was confirmed by the Office of Medical Services for West Virginia through the national Emergency Services registry.
In a separate criminal complaint dated March 15, Linn is accused of not returning items valued at up to $10,000 issued to him by the chief of Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department.
Another criminal complaint dated March 15 says that Linn took a firefighter breathing apparatus from the Baisden Volunteer Fire Department. That item was valued at about $15,000.
Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joshua Vance said recently that Linn began showing up at emergency scenes the Baisden, Gilbert and Wharncliffe fire departments were responding to around the beginning of the year.
After a few instances, first responders told Linn to either join a department or stop freelancing, Vance said.
Linn joined his department on a 90-day probation and said he had credentials in another state, but he did not provide them.
Vance gave Linn equipment to use in a class.
“I issued him a complete set of turnout gear which was brand new at the time and had never been used. I told him the gear was for him to participate in a class he had signed up for to get his WV certification and he was not to run calls until he completed it or until he got his prior certifications switched to WV. Whichever came first,” Vance said in a statement.
Vance said he later became aware of Linn’s TikTok videos.
On Friday, Linn released a statement to the news outlet:
“I am contacting you directly. The situation in Mingo County will be dealt with in court. My attorney has advised me to keep comments to a minimum, but I can without a doubt verify that the accusations are fully baseless, and that there are multiple outright verifiable lies in the documents submitted to law enforcement. This is nothing more than character assasination [sic] as a result of being a whistleblower on the state of EMS and fire coverage in Mingo County. We will be dealing with this matter as per the court’s request, and then vigorously beginning civil litigation for all necessary parties for character assasination, [sic] libel, defamation, et al.”