At least five firefighters have been been put on administrative leave after being accused of sexually assaulting and drugging strippers at their fire station in Nashville, Tenn., NewsChannel 5 WTVF-TV reports.
Those men are Capt. James Overton (pictured), engineer Kerry Sales, and firefighters Darrin Bell, Quincy Corbitt and Jason Copeland. While city officials suspended the entire crew at Fire Station 24 where the alleged sexual assault took place, they only suspect three were actually involved in the alleged incident.
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Fire authorities became aware of the alleged assault when Nashville police got a call from a local hospital on Saturday where a woman claimed that she may have been drugged after visiting Copeland’s home. During questioning, the woman claimed that she and two friends had been to the Fire station on several occasions to perform sex acts for cash.
“According to her and at least one other woman, there was stripping in exchange for money, and sexual activity for money at the fire hall,” said Metro Police Spokesperson Don Aaron.
When officers questioned Copeland, he said he was being extorted by a friend of the 23-year-old woman. Copeland reported that he was called by suspected gang member Ray Dontrell Johnson, 26, and told that there would be “blood” if Copeland did not pay him $500. Johnson also threatened Copeland’s job, and (that) he would disclose Copeland’s relationship with the 23-year-old.
Detectives set up a sting in which $500 was placed in the glove compartment of an undercover police vehicle. Johnson arrived at the Pizza Hut with another man. After Johnson retrieved the money from the glove compartment, he and his friend, Cortez Deonte Smith, 20, were arrested. Both were booked on a charge of extortion Tuesday night.
Metro police say the 23-year-old woman has offered significantly inconsistent statements in regard to what took place at Copeland’s home. There has been no evidence of sexual activity occurring there. A blood sample from the woman was taken at General Hospital and will be analyzed for drug/alcohol content.
The firefighters named in the case have not been charged with any crimes.
This isn’t the first time Nashville firefighters have made the local news for making it rain at the fire house. The Tennessean reports that a fire fighter resigned after being caught with a prostitute in a fire station in 2009. A year earlier, a group of firefighters were accused of taking women for a joy-ride on the back of a fire truck and giving them beer at their fire station. They were disciplined for the alleged actions but it was later overturned.