An off-duty firefighter in Bethlehem is facing charges that may end his career. The Pennsylvania rescue worker stands charged with drunk driving as well as fleeing police and weapons possession. His arrest came on the heels of reports from concerned family that the man was mentally unwell and could pose a danger to himself.
The report notes that around 10:30 p.m. police were forwarded texts sent by the 44-year-old firefighter which, officers say, included specific references to suicide as well as photos of an open bottle of liquor and a semi-automatic handgun. When police approached the man, who was found in his vehicle in a parking lot, he apparently fled the scene, prompting police to chase him for some seven miles. Police say he was operating his vehicle with reckless abandon and without concern for the well-being of others on the road.
The man surrendered to officers some time later. Police say they found the gun with two loaded magazines as well as the liquor in the vehicle. His blood alcohol level was measured at more than twice the legal limit, and he was driving without a license. He was arrested but has since been released on bail.
Suicide and mental illness are very serious issues facing the citizens of Pennsylvania. An individual suffering from suicidal tendencies may not be in full control of his or her faculties. It may be of benefit for the man's drunk driving defense counsel to request a psychiatric evaluation of the accused man as the criminal proceedings head to court.
Source: mcall.com, "Bethlehem firefighter charged with drunken driving and fleeing police", Pamela Lehman, Nicole Radzievich, Dec. 1, 2016