GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Investigators are trying to get to the bottom of who they believe assaulted a Greenville County firefighter.
It happened when crews from the Glassy Mountain Fire Department were responding to a possible fire at the end of May.
Training is a big part of a firefighter’s career. A room at the Glassy Mountain Fire Department is where Chief Robert Staples said his department fills a lot of those hours.
“All of our shifts do training,” Chief Robert Staples said with the Glassy Mountain Fire Department.
Despite all of that training, Chief Staples said there are still circumstances of the job that are unimaginable.
“Cuss them out and then assault them, it’s just shocking,” said Chief Staples.
This was a first for Chief Staples. It happened when his crew was dispatched to a fire on Oak Grove Road in the Glassy Mountain area. On the way, Chief Staples told us a driver of a pickup truck pulled out in front of their emergency vehicles, despite their blaring lights and sirens.
“Driver attempted to pass the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle looked at him and then actually sped up, he wouldn’t allow the drive to pass him,” Chief Staples explained.
He told 7NEWS, it only gets worse from there when the driver of the firetruck got blocked.
“The truck was blocking the road completely, it wouldn’t allow the vehicle to pass. He put the vehicle in four-wheel drive to get around the driver,” said Staples.
But that’s not where it ends.
Chief Staples told 7NEWS, the driver of that pickup followed these fire crews to the scene.
“The firefighter was approached, this person yelling at him and struck him in the shoulder. Our firefighter backed up, he then pushed the firefighter,” Chief Staples said.
Eventually that driver took off, so quickly Chief Staples said they didn’t have time to read his license plate.
Deputies with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office are trying to track down that driver now.
“It’s very uncommon with people who won’t cooperate with first responders and in fact, try to prevent them from responding to that fire in a priority method,” Lt. Ryan Flood with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said.
Luckily for Glassy Mountain fire crews, the fire didn’t end up being out of control and everyone is okay.
“It could have been a structure fire, it could have been a medical emergency, they had no idea what we were responding to,” said Staples.
The truck deputies are looking for is a black 1500 Dodge Ram pickup truck. They believe the driver is a man in his 60’s with a long, white beard.
If you know anything about who was involved, you’re urged to call the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 864-23-CRIME.