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A relationship of cooperation

Firefighters aid police in subduing suspect

Southbridge firefighters assisted police officers last week in apprehending an unruly individual in front of their Elm Street headquarters, above. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
April 22, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Firefighters teamed up with police officers last week — but not in the typical way.

Firefighters helped police subdue an unruly person Thursday, April 15, in front of their Elm Street fire headquarters. The assist eventually led to the man's arrest. Police involved suffered minor abrasions and firefighters helped the officers with their injuries after the scuffle.

"We're all in this together. Public safety is one team," said Fire Chief Richard Cisela, who helped restrain the individual.

Police arrested Robert DiCarlo, 42, of 320 Main St., Apt. 2B, and charged him with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery on a public employee (a firefighter), and two counts of wanton destruction of property under $250 (police uniform and a police handgun holster). He is also charged with three counts of threatening to commit a crime (murder).

DiCarlo pleaded not guilty Friday, April 16 at Dudley District Court and was released on $500 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear in court May 14 for a pre-trial hearing.

Seeking to dispel a rumor that firefighters were actually fighting, Police Sgt. Brian Haggerty wrote in a letter to the Southbridge Evening News (see page A-4):

"Both the police and fire department of this town work hand in hand to provide emergency services to the residents of this community. Our police and fire departments have a great relationship of cooperation, which is not the same in all communities. I am proud of the working relationship we have and can only thank those firefighters [who] helped us Thursday."

Haggerty indicated the firefighters' help came as the two officers' backup was in transit.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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