Three active members and one former member of Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company are facing criminal charges ranging from attempted rape to harassment, according to a fire company news release and police.
Fallston FVFAC Chief Will Rosenberg was made aware less than two weeks ago of suspected ongoing harassment and a possible sexual assault among members of the company, according to the fire company news release issued Monday morning.
Upon learning of the allegations, Rosenberg immediately notified the Harford County Sheriff’s Office to investigate, believing a crime, or series of crimes, had occurred.
Cristie Kahler, director of media relations for the Sheriff’s Office, confirmed Monday that the investigation began Dec. 3 into “reported harassment and assault as part of an ongoing course of conduct that occurred between June and November of 2017.”
Two specific incidents outlined in charges included an attempted sexual assault of a 17-year-old male member during the summer and a harassment incident on Nov. 22, Kahler wrote in an email.
The four suspects are males whose ages range in age from 19 to early 20s, Kahler said. She said the alleged assault happened on fire company property.
Upon conclusion of their investigation, according to the fire company and Kahler, Sheriff’s Office investigators criminally charged four people with offenses ranging from attempted first-degree rape to harassment, according to the fire company.
Once the three warrants and one criminal summons are served, the names of those charged will be released, Kahler said.
The Fallston Volunteer and Ambulance Fire Company leadership has fully cooperated with the Sheriff’s Office investigation, she said.
Upon learning of the allegations, the active members were immediately suspended from all fire company activities and prohibited from accessing the property or resources of the fire company, according to fire company news release.
The fire company will determine the final status of all members when the cases are fully adjudicated and an internal administrative process concludes.
Fire company officials had no further comment because of the pending legal proceedings, FVFAC spokesperson David Williams said via email.
Rosenberg, the Fallston FVFAC chief, issued the following statement:
“Our very assertive posture will continue, as we remain focused and vigilant in rooting out and removing anyone from our ranks who engages in illegal, immoral or unethical behavior. It simply won't be tolerated, everyone is accountable. Personally, I am both angry and disgusted by the assertions as the alleged behavior is not acceptable by any standard, particularly the highly principled threshold we demand among our members.
“Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company service has not been interrupted and we continue to fulfill our mission of serving and protecting the community through the administration of fire, rescue and EMS services — an unwavering commitment many have had since the company was founded more than 40 years ago. While we anticipate and fully understand requests for more substantive media interviews, we will not release any additional information – we must remain respectful to the integrity of the criminal justice process. Thank you for your patience and understanding our stance. There is nothing more important to both our internal and external community than trust and I will continue to do everything in my power to transparently uphold that firm commitment.”
The news release also states the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Amblulance Company “is an inclusive organization, which prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability or any other status protected by law. This policy of non-discrimination extends to all services provided, to our members as well as the citizens served by the FVFAC.”