A local man has been charged with impersonating a firefighter and misconduct at an emergency after entering a home in Union County where a man had a medical emergency.
18-year-old Tony Beverly of West Mansfield was arrested by the Union County Sheriff’s Office on April 14.
Marysville Fire Chief Jay Riley said when there is an emergency and first responders show up dressed in turnout gear, the residents have a level of trust they are there to help.
Authorities allege Beverly was dressed in turnout pants and had a firefighter pager, when he ran into a house along State route 36 next door to Johnny Bogg’s home.
“My neighbor called 911 and before paramedics got out here, this young man who lives down the street, went into his house and told him he was a firefighter and was going to help him,” Boggs said. He said Beverly is known in the New Dover mobile home community and listens to an emergency scanner.
Fire and sheriff investigators call Beverly an impersonator.
“The suspect claimed he was a volunteer firefighter with a Logan County fire department,” said Union County Chief Deputy Tom Morgan. “During the course of the investigation, it was determined Beverly allegedly lied to firefighters about his name and fire department affiliation.”
“You get an impersonator like that and it is scary, it is very scary,” Boggs said.
The fire chief said it is also dangerous for everyone involved.
“Our paramedics are highly trained and they go in there and provide great care. If they have somebody that goes in there that doesn’t know the care they could actually injure the person,” he said.
Then there is also the trust factor.
“They trust us to go into their homes and care for their family and we don’t want to do anything to lose that trust. So it is very important for us when this person decided to go into somebody’s home we took action right away and called law enforcement,” Riley said.
Chief Deputy Morgan said investigators found out Beverly had been terminated from the Logan County volunteer department in 2016. Morgan said he also had an outstanding warrant out of Logan County.
“He did allegedly steal firefighter turnout gear, during a burglary there,” Morgan said.
For now, Beverly faces two misdemeanor charges, but Morgan said a grand jury could consider felony charges for the burglary.