ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County firefighter was fired after bodycam video showed him punching a homeless man they were there to help.
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Deputies said the man was combative and violent.
Firefighters were called twice to help a homeless man. They said the first time, he hit three of them. The second time, it was the firefighter seen throwing punches.
Deputies said Anderle Brown seemed to be in an altered mental state, but he was also handcuffed. Three months after the encounter, the firefighter was fired.
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Deputies said the found Anderle Brown walking along a Pine Hills road. They tried to stop him, but when he didn’t, he was Tased and medics were called again.
The same Orange County firefighters responded. Those firefighters said in the incident report that Brown hit two of those firefighters in the face and hit another, Reginald Whitehead, Jr., in the groin.
In a video recorded on a deputy’s bodycam, Whitehead is the one seen throwing punches.
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The deputy said firefighters were attempting to put an oxygen mask on Brown when he became combative.
The Orange County Fire Department has been hyper-focused on the mental and physical wellness of the firefighters, even assigning a battalion chief over a program to make sure everyone is well.
In a statement, the fire department said:
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“Orange County Fire Rescue Department does not condone the conduct displayed in this video and promptly took action upon notification of the incident. This behavior is not representative of the professional standards expected of its members.
Reginald Whitehead’s employment with Orange County Fire Rescue Department was terminated on December 28, 2022, following an investigation related to an incident that occurred on August 4, 2022. Based on a review of the violations under Orange County Fire Rescue policies and procedures, Whitehead’s actions were determined to be conduct unbecoming of a firefighter.”
Whitehead and Brown are still going through the court process. The department said Whitehead is trying to get his job back.
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