I don’t even know where to start with this post.
The Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department (Botetourt County, Va) is holding their Annual 4th of July Carnival this week. Tonight, they even close down Main Street and have a Parade right through the middle of town… “Enjoy displays of dozens and Fire and Rescue Vehicles as they make thier way up Main Street joined by marching units, bands, floats and displays by local civic organizations.”
LMAO … I can see that line up now.
Personally, I don’t see the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department holding a “Carnival” as such a big deal … it seems to me as if they’ve been running a 3 ring circus down there all year long!
Buchanan’s Chief, Billy Joe Carter; has placed himself and his Department in the headlines of our local media several times this year. He first drew my attention back in January, 2012 when he was injured on a fire. After my Initial Post, there were several issues from that incident that drew my attention and raised questions in my mind.
I raised some of those questions / concerns in a later post titled “The Illusion of Death”
In February, Botetourt County was in the process of hiring an Emergency Services Coordinator … a much needed position. Chief Carter was outspoken and very much opposed to the new position. Here’s how he was quoted in our local paper ….
“He said Tuesday that if an emergency services director assumes control of a scene “there are going to be a lot of hurt feelings and busted noses.”
Read that previous post HERE
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Days later, he was interviewed by one of our local TV news stations where he announced that we was stepping down as Chief citing “you can’t fight politics” … (Read “The Plot Thickens“) . As it turned out, he didn’t resign at all. In my next post, “Volunteer Leadership“; I wrote “The Buchanan VFD missed a golden opportunity. They should have accepted his resignation, taken his pager, radio and keys then filed a restraining order.”
Later, I learned that Chief Carter and other members of the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department may have had past criminal records. Not misdemeanors … felonies. I posted about that issue HERE .
Now, he and a former BVFD member are back in the headlines and, this time; the charges are much more serious.
Police have charged Steven Patrick Prease, a former Buchanan firefighter; with two counts of capital attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and one count of capital attempted murder of other persons .
Apparently, all of the details of the event weren’t readily shared in the paper. Read the initial article from Roanoke.com …
Botetourt County man faces attempted murder charges after standoff
Chief Carter was also on the scene that night and is now under criminal investigation by the Virginia State Police!
Botetourt Co. sheriff says Buchanan fire chief complicated event
Here’s how I understand the story …. Apparently, police responded to a domestic dispute where shots had been fired. Later, a witness says that the suspect was out in the street “pacing” when 2 men came walking out of the woods. The suspect apparently recognized one of the men as Chief Carter (as did the witness) and yelled “Whoa, Jimbo! We’ve got us a war tonight!”
The suspect then went back inside the home and got a gun. He came back outside and interacted with Carter before the two ran into the woods with Carter lighting the way. Later, at about 1am; the witness says she heard approximately 20 gun shots. The Sheriff was unable to confirm the number of shots fired.
Authorities were eventually able to get Carter to come out of the woods and Prease followed some time later. No one was injured in the shoot out. Prease was arrested and is being held without bond.
Carter was quoted in the article …. “I wasn’t working with the sheriff’s office because the sheriff’s office didn’t want my help,” Carter said. “I was doing it as a friend. But more I was doing it as a brother. You don’t forget who you ride with.”
“The sheriff criticized the actions of the fire chief, describing them as an interference.”
“I don’t know how to put out fires and he don’t know how to investigate a crime,” Sprinkle said. “You’re skirting the issue of obstructing justice. He needed to back off, I don’t care how good a friend he is.”
Another black eye and more damaging press for Botetourt County and the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department. It seems to me as if there has been one common denominator in all their issues / troubles and I can’t figure out why they don’t just get rid of the problem.
I hate to say “I told you so” but ….. I told you so. One of my latest posts, “Porn Star or felon…which do you want in your station” drew a lot of comments. Many of which (to my surprise) defended a felon’s right to a 2nd chance and the opportunity to serve his/her community in a Fire/EMS capacity. I wonder if those people who commented still feel the same way after reading Buchanan’s latest issues.
Is this continued behavior the result of a criminal history or is it a lack of management / leadership from higher authorities within Botetourt County?
I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one …. I’ll keep ya posted as more details emerge. Until then, stay SAFE and in House!