Dallas police launch internal investigation after fireman's arrest

Print
Email
|

by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM

DALLAS - Hours after officers arrested Jesus Ventura, a fireman for Dallas Fire-Rescue, the Dallas police launched an Internal Affairs investigation to see if its patrolmen staged the capture for a local TV station.

Police took Ventura into custody at his Irving home and charged him with Deadly Conduct on Thursday afternoon.

But the police department issued a news release later in the afternoon, saying the arrest was made while a separate operation by the Dallas Police Public Integrity Unit was underway to get Ventura to voluntarily surrender.

"It appears these officers may have conducted their operation outside of proper departmental protocol, but with the approval of their supervising lieutenant," the department said. "Their execution of the warrant also appears to have occurred concurrently with the arrival of a singular media outlet at the scene."

Investigators allege Ventura, 37, took a loaded, semi-automatic pistol to Dallas Fire-Rescue's Station 45 last Thursday. According to the police report, Ventura, off-duty at the time, was pointing and waving the pistol "in a reckless manner."

Fellow firefighters said they were in "fear for their safety" and moved behind Ventura.

"Several seconds later, the gun discharged," the report explained. "Witnesses took the gun from the suspect and secured it."

No one was injured.

Dallas Police Department's Public Integrity Unit, which investigates public officials and employees, was assigned the case and began negotiating to get Ventura to surrender.

But before that could happen, five Dallas patrolmen, with their supervisor's permission, drove to Ventura's home in Irving and served the arrest warrant, as one TV station recorded officers taking the fireman into custody.

The police department's Internal Affairs Unit is now focusing on a supervisor's decision to allow officers to make the arrest.

Ventura still had not been booked into the Dallas County Jail late Thursday night.

Dallas Fire-Rescue is not commenting about Ventura's arrest, but did say it put him on administrative leave as it conducts an investigation, as well.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|