Issued Wednesday by the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County:
On October 22, 2016 the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230, hosted its 2nd Annual Firefighters Ball. The Ball is also a fundraiser for our Bikes for Tykes Charity. The money donated to this charity is used to buy bikes for needy children during the Christmas season. This event was a huge success, raising more than $20,000 for the charity fund. The event at the Marriott Hotel in Walnut Creek, attended by more than 160 firefighters, significant others, event sponsors and local political leaders, ended at 11:00 PM that evening.
The morning following the charity event, an incident occurred involving two off-duty firefighters and Walnut Creek police officers. This isolated and unfortunate incident was not connected with the charity event. The incident is being investigated by both the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and Walnut Creek Police Department, with full cooperation of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230.
While we await the conclusion of the investigation, the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230 does not condone the actions of which our members are accused. Firefighters and police officers work together on a daily basis, and often rely on each other in dangerous situations, so a good working relationship is critical. The more than 400 firefighters who are members of Local 1230 are honorable and committed men and women who value their brothers and sisters in law enforcement and the community they serve.
The people of our community have a right to expect firefighters to be held to the highest standards on and off duty. We expect this of ourselves as well. The United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230 apologizes to the Marriott Hotel, the Walnut Creek Police Department, the Fire District and to the public we serve for this unfortunate incident at the site of our charity event. We sincerely hope it does not detract from the success of the event and from a charitable cause that has brought a smile to hundreds of needy children throughout Contra Costa County.
Note: Firefighters Andrew Desmond, 31, and Lontavious Johnson, 32, were arrested along with two women after the scuffle. All four posted bail and are no longer in custody. Desmond and Johnson are currently on leave from duties with the district pending an investigation into their actions that night.