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Fresno Fire Chief Arrested

Fire Chief Rob Brown was arrested Wednesday night on domestic violence charges.
Parked under the hot Fresno sun, Fire Chief Rob Brown's company truck sits empty. And like his truck, Brown is feeling the heat after investigators say he assaulted more than one family member.

"He struck his wife a couple of times, knocking her to the floor. Other family members tried to intervene, during that time he was actually pepper sprayed," said Deputy Chris Curtice with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators say Brown then went after another family member and was pepper sprayed again. Sheriff's deputies arrived shortly thereafter and allegedly found the fire chief in his front yard "visibly intoxicated."

"Initially he was uncooperative with deputies, refusing their commands. But eventually he complied and was handcuffed and put in the back of one of the patrol vehicles," said Curtice.

It was an unexpected ride for a man less than a month removed from his one year anniversary as Fresno Fire Chief. Brown came to Fresno in May of 2012 after a nation wide search. Union President Kirk Wanless says the man he knows is very different from the one arrested Wednesday night.

"I know Chief Brown to be a compassionate, even keeled, happy individual, so this just seems completely out of character with the man I've come to know over the last year," said Wanless, President of the Fresno City Firefighters Association.

Following his arrest a protective order was put in place barring Brown from his home. Deputy Chief Kerri Donis will serve as acting fire chief during the course of the investigation.
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Fresno, CA

Partly Cloudy
  • High: 71°F
  • Low: 57°F
  • Sunrise: 6:11 AM PDT
  • Sunset: 7:42 PM PDT
  • Feels Like: 71°F
  • Wind Chill: 71°F
  • Visibility: 10 mi.
  • Dew Point: 40°
  • Relative Humidity: 32%