PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two Pittsburgh firefighters were arrested in separate incidents this weekend; it follows a string of arrests for the fire bureau.
Around 9 p.m. Friday, Pittsburgh police arrested 40-year-old Erik Vater after a two-car crash at the intersection of Poplar Street and Noblestown Road near Green Tree.
According to the criminal complaint, he failed a field sobriety test and was later given a breathalyzer test. Officials say his blood alcohol content was found to be .228, nearly three times the legal limit.
In an unrelated incident, about three hours later, firefighter Nicholas Florian and his brother, Ronald, were charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy.
Officials say it happened after a street fight in the South Side at the corner of South 26th Street and East Carson Street.
Witnesses say the two men punched and kicked the victim multiple times as he lay in the street. The complaint indicates that Florian admitted to police that an argument became physical and that he and his brother “jumped” the victim.
The troubling pattern of arrests was recently part of a KDKA Investigation. Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones addressed it last month.
“There is a problem here and we’re addressing that problem,” he said on Feb. 10. “I believe they are starting to realize that it reflects very poorly on the bureau and on themselves.”
A new drug and alcohol policy was just put into effect at the fire bureau, aiming to restore the public’s confidence in the department.
KDKA’s Kym Gable tried to contact both the fire chief and the union representative for the firefighters, but neither could be reached for comment.