Man accused of assaulting firefighter, making racially-charged r - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man accused of assaulting firefighter, making racially-charged remarks

Douglas Pullen (Source: Scott Co. Sheriff's Office) Douglas Pullen (Source: Scott Co. Sheriff's Office)
SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

A Diehlstadt, Missouri man is accused of assaulting a firefighter and making racially-charged remarks.

Douglas Eugene Pullen, 60, was charged with second-degree assault on an emergency personnel (firefighter) and first offense felony armed criminal action.

According to the probable cause statement, on September 2 at around 4:12 p.m., a Scott County sheriff's deputy responded to the scene of a fire on County Highway 360.

When the deputy arrived, he said he saw a home fully involved in fire and Charleston DPS was on scene trying to extinguish it.

The deputy said he was helping a man that had a large cut on his hand and while helping ambulance personnel load the victim, he was approached by Charleston DPS Chief Robert Hearnes.

According to the deputy, Chief Hearnes said they had detained a man who assaulted a firefighter.

The deputy said he saw the man, identified as Douglas Pullen, sitting on the ground with wrist restraints on. He said he then put Pullen into his patrol car.

According to the probable cause statement, the deputy then talked to the firefighter.

The firefighter told him he was working the fire when Pullen walked into the front yard and toward the burning home.

He said he told the man, "Sir, please get back."

Pullen allegedly replied to the firefighter with a racially-charged statement and then allegedly swung a wooden cane, hitting the firefighter on the right shoulder.

The firefighter grabbed Pullen to try and prevent further injuries. That's when, according to the probable cause, Pullen resisted and a public safety officer helped the firefighter detain Pullen.

While transporting Pullen in his patrol vehicle, the deputy said Pullen stated, "If I was not crippled, I would beat the brakes off that [expletive] [expletive]."

This act of racism is something that does not surprise Calvin Bird, the pastor of New Covenant Ministries in Sikeston. 

"You would think that in 2016 we would be way past that," said Bird.

He looks at this as even worse because it involves a first responder. 

"If I'm trying to help you stay out of a dangerous situation and the only thing that you can think about is calling me something that will degrade me, then that's just really sad," said Bird.

Law enforcement officers feel that there needs to be more protection for first responders. Other states such as Kentucky and Illinois are considering such laws while Louisiana already has one in effect.

"In my opinion, I think this needs to be in place to help the first responders," said Rick Walter's, Scott County Sheriff.

"We're out here doing our job each and every day and sometimes it's a thankless job," said Drew Juden, Sikeston DPS Chief. "Any type of protection we can get for our people I'm certainly in favor of."

Pullen faces a judge for the first time on the 13th.

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