RI fire captain suspended after altercation with tow company employee
After an exchange of words at the scene of a motorcycle accident, Tiverton Fire Department Capt. Craig Committo allegedly choked the tow truck employee
The Providence Journal, R.I.
TIVERTON, R.I. — Fire Captain Craig Committo, who is also president of the local firefighter's union, has been suspended with pay for an alleged physical altercation with an 18-year-old tow truck company worker at the scene of a motorcycle crash over the weekend.
Town Administrator Jan Reitsma said Committo was suspended Sunday, a day after the incident, and will be on paid leave "pending an investigation and resolution of the matter." He had no other comment other than to say it needs to be handled "in accordance with personnel regulations."
According to a police report of the incident, Committo was making comments to the worker at the scene of the crash at Narragansett and Summit avenues Saturday evening about how he should back the tow truck up closer to the damaged motorcycle "and continued to joke (with him) about how he was handling the towing of the motorcycle."
When the worker said to him: "If you think you can do a better job, go ahead fat...," Committo was visibly irritated, according to the report, walked over to the chain-link fence that was on the ground from the crash "and proceeded to grab (him) by the throat," police reported, and squeezed for a few seconds.
Police and the tow truck driver, who is the father of the worker, stepped in to break it up.
As officers were separating both parties, Committo told the worker he would "finish it" when he got off duty, according to the report.
The driver and his wife went to the station Saturday to file a complaint, telling police that "Committo's actions were unacceptable," according to the report, but they did not want to press charges. Police Chief Patrick Jones decided to charge Committo with disorderly conduct and he was issued a summons to District Court.
A call to Committo Tuesday afternoon for comment was not returned.
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