Sunday, September 28, 2008

Firefighter Joel Abernathy - Sterling Heights FD











Firefighter accused of assault at bar
DEANNA ROSE
Source Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Sunday, October 5, 2008
http://www.sourcenewspapers.com/stories/100508/loc_story4001.shtml

A Sterling Heights firefighter was arrested for allegedly hitting a woman with his gun while at a bar after arguing with his wife, witnesses said.

Harper Woods Police Chief Randolph Skotarczyk said St. Clair Shores resident Joel Abernathy, 44, was arrested following the incident, which occurred at 9 p.m. on Sept. 29 at the Ugly Duckling, 20912 Harper Ave., north of 8 Mile Road in Harper Woods.

Police received a call about a man inside the bar, wearing a firefighter’s uniform, who reportedly pointed a .45-caliber handgun at a woman. Skotarczyk said the man was gone by the time police arrived.

The barmaid told police the man was a known person who frequented the bar and he was seen leaving the establishment after arguing with his wife. Forty minutes later, the witness reported, the man returned and was dressed in a firefighter’s uniform.

Skotarczyk said the man then approached a woman and hit her in the back of her head with a gun, then demanded his keys from the barmaid. He grabbed the purse of his wife - who was playing pool - and dumped out its contents so he could get his keys, then left in a black SUV.

Since he was a known customer at the bar and had used a credit card there, police were able to obtain Abernathy’s address and went to his house. Skotarczyk said Abernathy was not home at that time, but his wife was. She told police he did not hurt her.

Police located Abernathy’s vehicle a short time later at Eastlawn and Salisbury streets in St. Clair Shores, and found Abernathy walking nearby, where they arrested him. He had no handgun on him, but police did locate a 9mm bullet in his pocket

Skotarczyk said he had no information about Abernathy’s blood-alcohol content, but that alcohol and drugs did not seem to be factors in the incident. He also said Abernathy had no prior incidents on his record.

“This appears to be very out of character,” Skotarczyk said.

Warrants were obtained from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and Abernathy was charged with felonious assault and felony firearm possession on Sept. 30. His bond was set at $10,000 and Skotarczyk said he remains in custody at the Harper Woods Police Department. A preliminary exam has not been set.

Sterling Heights Fire Chief Steve Kovalcik could not be reached for comment.












St. Clair Shores: Firefighter faces charges
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Macomb briefs

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081002/METRO03/810020394/1409/METRO

A Sterling Heights firefighter accused of hitting a woman in the head with the barrel of a gun in a Harper Woods bar on Sunday has been charged with felonious assault and carrying a weapon without a permit. Joel Eric Abernathy, 44, of St. Clair Shores was arraigned in 32-A District Court in Harper Woods on Tuesday and was released from jail on bond Wednesday, Harper Woods Police Chief Randolph A. Skotarczyk said. He was placed on leave from his job.

 Police say Abernathy got into an argument with his wife at the Ugly Duckling Saloon on Harper near Eight Mile. Police allege Abernathy left the bar, went home, changed into his firefighter's uniform and returned to the bar. He mistook a waitress for his wife, hit her in the back of the head with the gun and demanded his car keys, Skotarczyk said.









HARPER WOODS: Firefighter arraigned in bartender incident
Wayne County news briefs:
OCTOBER 1, 2008

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/NEWS02/810010348/

A Sterling Heights firefighter was arraigned Tuesday, accused of hitting a bartender in the back of the head with a handgun when he was wearing his dress uniform, Harper Woods Police Chief Randolph Skotarczyk said.

Joel Abernathy, 44, of St. Clair Shores is charged with one count each of felonious assault and a firearms offense in the incident about 9 p.m. Sunday at the Ugly Duckling Saloon on Harper. He was being held in the city lockup pending 10% of a $10,000 bond after arraignment in 32A District Court in Harper Woods, Skotarczyk said.

Abernathy is on administrative leave. Whether he will be on leave with or without pay is under review.







Michigan Firefighter Cracks Up
Fire Geezer on 01 Oct 2008 10:40 am
http://firegeezer.com/2008/10/01/michigan-firefighter-cracks-up/

A STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN, FIREFIGHTER HAS BEEN taken into custody by police following a bizarre incident Sunday night. Joel Abernathy, 44, was arraigned Monday and charged with felonious assault and a firearms offense after an altercation with his wife and an off-duty bartender.

Abernathy and his wife were patrons at the Ugly Duckling bar in nearby Harper Woods when they got into an argument. He then stormed out of the bar, but returned 40 minutes later suddenly clothed in his fire department dress uniform and carrying a large handgun.

While he was gone, his wife moved to another area in the bar to play a game of pool. When Abernathy returned he mistook another woman sitting at the bar, an off-duty employee, for his wife and accosted her with the gun. Holding the gun to her head, he demanded that she “give me the keys!” After realizing his mistake, he sought out his wife in the bar, grabbed her purse and left.

When the police arrived, other patrons identified him and his credit card receipt confirmed it. Driving to his house, they found him walking along the street and arrested him.

















Police: Firefighter Threatens Woman At BarFirefighter Mistakes Waitress For Wife
POSTED: 8:02 am EDT October 1, 2008
UPDATED: 12:34 pm EDT October 1, 2008

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/17596456/detail.html

HARPER WOODS, Mich. -- A Sterling Heights firefighter was taken into police custody after he allegedly threatened a woman he thought was his wife at a local bar.

Police said the firefighter, Joel Abernathy, was inside the Ugly Duckling bar in Harper Woods when he pulled out a gun and pointed it at the back of a woman's head.

Police Chief Randolph Skotarczyk said it appeared Abernathy was going to confront his wife, who was near the entrance playing pool, but mistakenly confronted another woman he thought was his wife.

The other woman was an off-duty waitress.

"He put the gun up to the back of her head and demanded the keys. She said, 'I don't have the keys,'" said Skotarczyk.

He noticed his mistake, found his wife, and took her purse and left, Skotarczyk said.

Customers identified Abernathy to the police, who went to his home and found him.

Abernathy has been a firefighter for Sterling Heights for the past 12 years.

He has been placed on administrative leave.

The woman was not injured.

Abernathy remains in police custody.

Investigators said Abernathy told them he threw the gun in a trashcan as he walked home.














Uniformed Firefighter Holds Gun To Woman's Head
Man Mistakes Waitress For Wife

POSTED: 10:30 pm EDT September 30, 2008
UPDATED: 11:19 pm EDT September 30, 2008

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/17594955/detail.html

A Sterling Heights firefighter is accused of holding a gun to the head of a woman in a bar, mistaking her for his wife.

Harper Woods Police said Joel Abernathy and his wife got into an argument at the Ugly Duckling Bar on Harper Monday night.

Witnesses said he left the bar and returned 40 minutes later armed and dressed in his formal uniform with patches.

“It’s like something you see on TV or in the movies,” a witness identified only as Geoff said “A gentlemen a regular came in with what seemed like a large .45 caliber semi-auto handgun.”

Investigators said Abernathy’s wife had been sitting at the bar but moved to play pool when Abernathy had left.

Police said Abernathy walked up to the bar, put the gun to the woman’s head and demanded she give him keys.

The woman, an off-duty waitress who works at the bar, was no hurt.

Witnesses said when Abernathy realized the woman was not wife, he combed the bar for her, grabbed her purse and took off.

Police said witnesses in the bar were able to identify Abernathy and authorities arrested him at his home in St. Clair Shores.

“They located him walking down the street, he was arrested,” said Chief Randolph Skotarczyk Harper Woods Police Department.

Abernathy has worked for the Sterling Heights Fire Department for 12 years and has been placed on administrative leave.

Police have not recovered the gun Abernathy used. Police said they believe he discarded it after the incident.
 
















Sterling Heights firefighter accused of hitting bartender with gun
By CHRISTINA HALL •
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER •
September 30, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080930/NEWS04/80930114

A Sterling Heights firefighter was arraigned today, accused of hitting a bartender in the back of the head with a handgun when he was wearing his dress uniform, Harper Woods Police Chief Randolph Skotarczyk said.
Joel Abernathy, 44, of St. Clair Shores is charged with one count each of felonious assault and a firearms offense in the incident about 9 p.m. Sunday at the Ugly Duckling Saloon on Harper. He was being held in the city lockup pending 10% of a $10,000 bond after arraignment in 32A District Court in Harper Woods, Skotarczyk said.


Abernathy is on administrative leave pending criminal and internal investigations. Whether he will be on leave with or without pay is under review.

Police said Abernathy got into an argument with his wife, left the bar and returned about 40 minutes later in his dress uniform and armed with a handgun. He is accused of hitting a bartender in the back of the head with the gun and demanding keys, which the bartender did not have. He then left in a sport-utility vehicle.
Police located Abernathy’s home through his credit card, which he used at the bar. They found the SUV in the area of Eastlawn and Salisbury in St. Clair Shores and saw Abernathy walking down the street, still wearing part of his uniform. The rest of the uniform was in the SUV, Skotarczyk said.


He said Abernathy was cooperative with officers, who found a 9 mm bullet in his pants pocket. They have not found the gun, but said it might have been thrown into the garbage.








[MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE]

No comments: