Columbia College Firefighter “Hazing” Under Investigation
Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Department is investigating a possible “hazing” incident.
A week ago today, a 19 year old volunteer firefighter working out of the Columbia College Fire Station was attending a party on East Meadow Lane in Sonora. Many firefighters from his station were in attendance.
Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele says the victim and those under investigation are all students in the Fire Technology Program at Columbia College. Mele goes on to say that the victim was subjected to an incident involving other firefighters who picked him tohaze” because he was the last of the newest recruits to come off probationary status.
The 19 year old told the Sheriff´s Department that the others forced him to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. He was then assaulted by being thrown down, punched and kicked repeatedly around the head and face.
The victim fled to a neighbor´s house where responding deputies found him. Mele says he is asking anyone who might have information regarding this or similar incidents in the past to call the Detective Unit at 694-2900.
Tuolumne County Fire Warden Chief Mike Noonan has also released a similar statement about the incident. Noonan says,The Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Department, the Tuolumne County District Attorneys Office and CDF investigators are aggressively investigating this allegation, and if anyone knows anything about this incident please contact the local sheriff department investigators to assist with this investigation.”
Written by BJ Hansen