ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH)– A Torrington firefighter’s Facebook post has caused outrage not just in Connecticut but around the country. His comment promoting violence against Pit Bulls has now led to death threats for the Torrington Fire Chief.
Last November Deputy Fire Marshal Richard Pierce posted on a Facebook page called “The Pit Bull Propaganda Machine Revealed.”
“… you may be able to take the dogs eyesight away, by wrapping duct tape around his head and eyes,” said Pierce on his Facebook. “Using a screwdriver or another tool may give you a chance to blind the mutant.”
“A chainsaw would be messy but effective,” he said.
It was meant as satire, but…
“That’s just wrong, I mean Pitbulls aren’t bad, it’s their training,” said Kevin Trick, Torrington.
“I don’t think it’s right for anybody to do that honestly,” said Jeremy Gomez, Torrington.
“Oh a public official, you should be fired, gone, done,” said Colin Casler, Torrington.
He was not fired, after a month and a half investigation, the deputy fire marshal was demoted for conduct unbecoming of a fire officer and failure to follow police and procedure, which caused an internet firestorm of inaccuracy.
The chief says bloggers are reporting that he killed a Pit Bull, which is not true and there is a petition circulating out there trying to get him fired.
“I have received many phone calls in the last two days all across the nation, that we did not fire him and we did not do the proper discipline, no petition is going to change what we have done. We have punished the individual and we are moving forward,” said Chief Gary Brunoli, Torrington F.D.
The fire chief says what the firefighter did was wrong, however he says what is also wrong, are the death threats his staff has been receiving. The death threats are so violent and graphic that they have increased police paroling at the station there, as well as the firefighters houses because they want to make sure they keep everybody safe.
“One was to duct tape my firefighter and let him suffer until he dies, and that is not what he did to an animal, that’s what he suggested to do to stop an attack. They have put his address on the web and that is unfortunate,” said Brunoli.
The chief says this Facebook post happened last November and the demotion was handed out in December. He is not sure why someone leaked it to the media now, but all of the calls and emails has been consuming his time for the past couple of days.
“I apologize as the leader that this has happened, and one of my employees did it but we are accepting responsibility and moving forward from here,” said Brunoli.