Firefighters, EMT under investigation after alleged battery of autistic man

A Florida volunteer fire department has since been shut down pending an investigation into the incident


By FireRescue1 Staff

JENNINGS, Fla. — Multiple firefighters and an EMT have been suspended as officials investigate an alleged battery on a 19-year-old autistic man.

Suwannee Democrat reported that the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is looking into a Sept. 20 incident involving members of the Jennings Volunteer Fire Department. Reports say the responders participated in acts of violence against the 19-year-old.

A video shows Jennings Fire Chief Jalon Herring, who is also a correctional officer with the Florida Department of Corrections, standing in front of the victim while both of them are wearing boxing gloves. 

After tapping gloves, Herring hits the victim, causing the victim to fall to the ground. The victim, attempting to get Herring off of him, starts hitting and kicking him, but Herring continues to hit the victim.

The Jennings Volunteer Fire Department has since been shut down pending an investigation, according to WTXL.com.

"It was disturbing to see the video and the people who witness it, you know thought it was great fun," Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid said.

The victim, whose caregiver says has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old child, was transferred to a mental health clinic.

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