Two East Spencer firefighters dismissed
By Karissa Minn
EAST SPENCER — Two head East Spencer firefighters were dismissed Monday after investigators say they repeatedly shocked a junior firefighter with a stun gun.
Fire Chief Shane Cranfield, a part-time employee, was fired effective Monday. Assistant Fire Chief Allen Carlyle, a volunteer firefighter, was told not to return.
Investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office say the two shocked a junior firefighter, 18-year-old John Resino, nine times with a Taser last month.
Cranfield, 37, and Carlyle, 29, were charged with misdemeanor assault.
Letters sent Jan. 4 from Town Administrator Macon Sammons Jr. refer to their “involvement in an extremely inappropriate incident” at a department Christmas party.
In a dismissal letter to Cranfield, Town Administrator Macon Sammons Jr. said leaders must serve as role models and set standards. They need “the wisdom, the courage and the judgment” to guide others in the right direction, he said.
“Instead, as our fire chief, you were the ringleader of an incident which created community disdain toward the reputation of our fire department and a major source of embarrassment to the town,” Sammons wrote.
A similar letter to Carlyle is more frank.
“Your behavior in this incident was abusive and totally unacceptable,” Sammons wrote. “Further, we believe that you have become a negative influence within our fire department.”
Sammons gave the letters to the Post on Monday but would not comment on the dismissals, saying it was a personnel matter.
Carlyle and Cranfield are both banned from entering, appearing at or assuming a volunteer role with the East Spencer Fire Department.
The two firefighters had borrowed the Taser from on-duty police officer James Lambeth at the Dec. 10 party, according to Rowan County investigators.
Deputies said the three frightened Resino by discharging the stun gun several times around 6 p.m. at the party.
Resino ran to a nearby room, according to the report, but the two firefighters broke through the door and repeatedly shocked the North Rowan High School student. They used a drive stun, which involves holding the Taser to the skin instead of shooting metal barbs.
Lambeth, 40, a part-time employee of the town, was charged with misdemeanor failure to discharge duty and misdemeanor aiding and abetting. He resigned from the East Spencer Police Department on Dec. 15.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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