Sunday, June 15, 2003

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. - Fruitport FD


Also See:

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. charged with domestic violence [June 02, 2007]


1985: Firefighter Gerald Thoma Jr. was chared with operating a motor vehicle while impaired.



2003: Firefighter Gerald Thoma Jr. was charged again for opertaing a motor vehicle while impaired. It was his second DUI offense. During this incident, Thoma rammed his truck into an acquaintance's house and vehicle in Muskegon Township while attending a party there. He eventually pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 45 days in the Muskegon County Jail and 24 months of probation.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2003/06/fire-captain-gerald-paul-thoma-jr.html




2007: Firefighter Thoma pleaded pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence for punching his then-16-year-old son in the nose three times. Thoma was sentenced to probation, fines, court costs and anger-management class for that offense.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/06/firefighter-gerald-thoma-jr-fruitport.html




2012: While intoxicated, Firefighter Thoma attempted a stunt on while driving his motorcycle and without his helmet on. Thoma was seriously injured. Thoma was charged with a felony: operating while intoxicated, third offense, which was punishable up to 5 years in prison. In January 2013, Thoma pled nolo contendere to MCL 257.6256D [operating intoxicated / impaired /controlled substance, third offense. Thoma was sentenced to 3 years probation.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2012/07/firefighter-gerald-paul-thoma-jr.html







Fire Captain Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. [Fruitport Township FD]

Original Charges:  Charged with felony malicious destruction of a building. June 2003.

Sentence: Plea bargain. Pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors: operating a vehicle while impaired and malicious destruction of property causing $200 or more in damages stemming from that incident. He was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and 24 months of probation

Reprimand from City of Fruitport/ FD: Placed on a 30-day unpaid suspension and had to sign a "last chance agreement" to keep his job. The agreement indicated Thoma couldn't use illegal substances or alcohol or become involved in any criminal activities for the "lifetime of his career" at the Fruitport Township Fire Department.







Fire captain again faces a criminal charge
Muskegon Chronicle
By Heather L. VanDyke hvandyke@...
Friday, August 03, 2007
http://www.mlive.com/news/chronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1186155959184030.xml&coll=8

A Fruitport Township fire captain with a criminal record has been charged with domestic assault for allegedly punching his 16-year-old son.

Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., 43, was charged with the misdemeanor stemming from a June 2 incident in which he is accused of punching his son in the face during an argument.

Fire Chief Ken Doctor said Thursday that Thoma, who has been on the department for more than 20 years, is not suspended from his job and will continue to work as a fire captain on a full-time basis "for now." He declined further comment.

According to the police report, Thoma and his son got into an argument just before 11 p.m. that escalated into an alleged assault at their home at 3148 E. Pontaluna. The argument apparently was over whether the son could go to a skate park with friends, said Police Chief Paul Smutz.

Thoma's wife, Geraldine Thoma, told police she was at the home when the incident occurred but did not witness it, Smutz said. The son called 911.

The veteran fire captain -- who is 6 feet 1 inch tall, and weighs 230 pounds -- is accused of punching the teen in the nose three times, Smutz said. When officers arrived at the scene, "they saw blood coming from (the son's) nose, and it was swollen," Smutz said.

Township Supervisor Ron Cooper said Thoma's job is not in jeopardy at this time because he is "not convicted of anything.""If he is found to be guilty, then that could have an effect on his job," Cooper said. "I don't see why we would take a man's job away from him because he's been accused of something."

Cooper said he had not read the police report."It's an accusation," he said of the punching allegations. "The kid may have fallen on the floor, for all I know. It's a domestic thing. It's a discipline thing."It was not clear whether the teen indicated he wanted to press charges against his father, but in domestic assault cases, if there is physical evidence to support it "an arrest has to happen," Smutz said.

Thoma was arrested and lodged the same night in the Muskegon County Jail. A jury trial is slated for 9 a.m. Aug. 20 in 14th Circuit Court.

Thoma's June 2 arrest came about four years after his last run-in with the law.

In June 2003, Thoma was charged with a five-year felony for malicious destruction of a building causing more than $1,000 in damages.

Connie Smith, who was township supervisor at the time, did not take the incident lightly. Thoma was placed on a 30-day unpaid suspension and had to sign a "last chance agreement" to keep his job.

The agreement indicated Thoma couldn't use illegal substances or alcohol or become involved in any criminal activities for the "lifetime of his career" at the Fruitport Township Fire Department. It also required Thoma to continue a substance abuse treatment program he began after the June 14, 2003, incident. Cooper said he has looked at that agreement, but other township officials agreed no action should be taken at this time.

Thoma was arrested for ramming his Dodge truck into an acquaintance's house at 1479 S. Mill Iron in Muskegon Township. He also rammed the acquaintance's vehicle that night and returned to the same home days later to offer the victim money to "settle the matter" to reduce his criminal charge, police said.

Thoma pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors: operating a vehicle while impaired and malicious destruction of property causing $200 or more in damages stemming from that incident.

He was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and 24 months of probation and was ordered to pay court costs and fines.






Fire captain pleads to domestic violence charge
Posted by From local reports
October 11, 2007 01:27AM
http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/10/fire_captain_pleads_to_domesti.html

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP -- A Fruitport Township fire captain has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence for punching his 16-year-old son in the nose.

Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., 43, entered the plea Tuesday before 60th District Judge Michael J. Nolan. Nolan sentenced Thoma to probation, fines and costs and anger-management class.

According to a police report, Thoma and his 16-year-old son got into an argument June 2 that escalated into an assault at their home at 3148 E. Pontaluna. The son called 911.

Police said Thoma punched the teen in the nose three times.

It's not Thoma's first criminal conviction. In June 2003, Thoma was arrested for ramming his truck into an acquaintance's house and vehicle in Muskegon Township while attending a party there. He eventually pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and 24 months of probation.










Fruitport Township Fire Department captain resigns on heels of criminal charge
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012, 6:24 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012, 8:49 AM
By Heather Lynn Peters
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/09/fruitport_township_fire_depart.html

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, MI – Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., the veteran Fruitport Township firefighter charged with third-offense drunk driving, has resigned from the fire department.

Thoma, 48, a longtime Fruitport Township Fire Department captain, turned in his resignation letter Friday to Fruitport Township Supervisor Brian Werschem.

On Monday the township board of trustees accepted the resignation, Werschem said. The board, not the public safety director, makes the hiring and firing decisions for the township.

Thoma was charged with the five-year felony recently in connection with a July 20 motorcycle accident in which Thoma was seriously injured.

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether Thoma had yet been arraigned on the charge, but a warrant was signed last week.

Toxicology test results indicate Thoma had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent when the accident happened at 11 p.m. in the parking lot of Office Max in the 1700 block of East Sherman Boulevard in the city of Muskegon. The blood-alcohol limit for driving a motor vehicle in Michigan is 0.08.

Thoma struck a concrete parking block while attempting the stunt, police said. A video of the accident was released to the media by the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office.

Thoma suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for several weeks following the crash. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, according to the Muskegon police report.

Others were doing stunts in the parking lot on July 20 when Thoma tried to do a stunt himself, police said.

Thoma was previously charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired in 1985 and 2003, both in Muskegon County.

                       
















Video released of Fruitport Township fire captain attempting motorcycle stunt while allegedly drunk

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 5:46 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 2:53 PM
By Lisha Arino
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/09/video_released_of_fruitport_to.html



FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, MI – The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office has released a video showing an incident in July that injured a Fruitport Township fire captain, who was allegedly intoxicated when it occurred.


The six-second video shows Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., who has been charged with a felony, moving past another motorcyclist in an empty Office Max parking lot in the 1700 block of East Sherman Boulevard in the city of Muskegon on July 20. The video shows him falling off his bike as sparks fly.

Thoma has been charged for operating while intoxicated third offense, after toxicology test results indicated that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent. The legal blood-alcohol limit for driving a motor vehicle in Michigan is 0.08.

Thoma had not been arraigned in Muskegon County 60th District Court as of Thursday evening.

Police said others had been doing stunts in the parking lot that night when Thoma attempted one himself.

He was seriously injured when he hit a concrete block and has only recently been released from the hospital, according to

family and friends. He was not wearing a helmet at the time, according to a police report.

It is unclear if the incident will affect his job at the fire department.

Court records show that Thoma has previous drunk driving convictions in Muskegon County. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired in 1985 and 2003.

He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence for punching his then-16-year-old son in the nose three times in 2007.

                              Fruitport Twp fire capt. faces 3rd OWI
Police: Gerald Thoma's BAC during crash was .10
Updated: Thursday, 20 Sep 2012, 6:57 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 9:29 PM EDT
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/muskegon_county/fruitport-twp-fire-capt-faces-3rd-owi

  MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) - A Fruitport Township fire captain could spend five years behind bars if convicted of his third drunk driving charge.

A warrant for Gerald Thoma Jr. was issued, according to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brett Gardner, but he has not yet been arraigned on a count of operating while intoxicated (third offense).

The charge stems from a July 20 incident that happened in the parking lot of the Office Max on E. Sherman Boulevard in Muskegon.

Thoma, 48, was allegedly trying to perform a stunt on his motorcycle when he was seriously injured.

He was not wearing a helmet and recovered in a hospital for more than a month.

His blood-alcohol content ( BAC) level was 0.10 at the time, according to a toxicology report -- .02 higher than the legal limit in Michigan.

Thoma's previous drunk driving charges were from 1985 and 2003 -- both in Muskegon County.

                        Fruitport Township fire captain charged with felony for drunken motorcycle crash
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 4:52 PM
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 8:33 AM
By Heather Lynn Peters
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/09/fruitport_township_fire_captai.html

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, MI – A Fruitport Township fire captain has been charged with a felony for an alleged drunken driving incident that police say happened while he was trying to do a stunt on his motorcycle in July.

Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brett Gardner confirmed Wednesday that a warrant has been signed for Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., 48, of the Fruitport Township Fire Department for operating while intoxicated, third offense. That’s a felony punishable up to five years in prison if convicted, Gardner said.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Thoma hadn't yet been arraigned in Muskegon County 60th District Court.

Toxicology test results indicate Thoma had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent when the accident happened at 11 p.m. on July 20 in the parking lot of Office Max in the 1700 block of East Sherman Boulevard in the city of Muskegon. The legal blood-alcohol limit for driving a motor vehicle in Michigan is 0.08.

Thoma was seriously injured in the crash and only recently released from the hospital, according to friends and family. It wasn't clear what condition Thoma was in as of late Wednesday.

He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, according to the Muskegon police report.

Others were doing stunts in the parking lot on July 20 when Thoma tried to do a stunt himself, police said. A woman had been on the back of Thoma’s motorcycle just prior to the crash, but wasn’t on the bike when he crashed, police said.

Thoma struck a concrete parking block in the parking lot while attempting the stunt, police said.

Fruitport Township Public Safety Director Ken Doctor said Wednesday that he was unaware of the charges filed against Thoma.

Doctor could not say whether the charge will affect Thoma's job at the fire department. It will be up to the township board to decide whether Thoma will keep his job, Doctor said, adding that he doesn’t do the “hiring or the firing” at the fire department.

“That decision will rest with the township board,” Doctor said.

Thoma has had previous drunken driving convictions in Muskegon County, court records show.

Thoma was previously charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired in 1985 and 2003, both in Muskegon County.

The 2003 incident occurred when Thoma rammed his truck into an acquaintance's house and vehicle in Muskegon Township while attending a party there, according to police. He eventually pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 45 days in the Muskegon County Jail and 24 months of probation.

In 2007 Thoma pleaded pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence for punching his then-16-year-old son in the nose three times. According to a police report, Thoma and his son got into an argument that escalated into an assault at their home. The son called 911.

A judge sentenced Thoma to probation, fines, court costs and anger-management class for that offense.

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