Firefighters shocked by arrest of colleague accused of abusing teenage girl

MONTEGO BAY, St James – Shock quickly spread throughout the St James fire brigade on Wednesday after news emerged that a high-ranking fireman had been arrested and charged with a sex crime committed against a teenage girl.

The St James police arrested the fireman at his office in connection with an incident involving a 14-year-old girl who was doing voluntary work at the fire station in July. He was later questioned in the presence of his attorney, then subsequently charged with attempted rape and sexual touching on Wednesday afternoon.

As the news made its way around the St James fire station, one firefighter told the Jamaica Observer that they were all left “dismayed” by the allegations.

“Members of the team are shocked at the news and are wondering how the alleged action could have happened. It has left a number of people quite dismayed,” said the firefighter who requested anonymity.

“Some people are hoping it’s not true, because it’s a massive embarrassment for the organisation,” the firefighter added.

At the same time, another firefighter told the Observer that while his team is deeply embarrassed by these allegations, they are hoping that if the incident is proved to have taken place, the young girl receives the support that she needs.

“This is really sad and we just hope that the teenager’s family rallies around her and helps her through this troubling time. Our thoughts are with her, and if the allegations are true, she deserves justice,” said the firefighter.

The allegations are that the fireman inappropriately touched the young girl on the third day of her voluntary service on July 20, 2023. The incident was reportedly brought to the attention of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on the same day and investigators from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) began their investigations.

The investigation into the matter continues.