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Bridgeport Firefighter Charged with Heroin Use

Connecticut Post

May 20, 2011

BRIDGEPORT — A city firefighter was arrested after police said they caught him injecting heroin while in uniform.

Michael Arthur, 34, of Danbury, a 10-year fire department veteran, was charged with possession of narcotics and use of drug paraphernalia. He was released after posting $500 bond. He was off duty at the time of his arrest, fire officials said, and it was unclear whether he was starting or ending his shift.

Fire Chief Brian Rooney said he was aware of the arrest but couldn’t comment on it. He said Arthur, who worked out of the headquarters, was put on administrative leave with pay pending further investigation.

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On Wednesday afternoon, officers were dispatched to Savoy Street on a resident’s complaint of suspicious activity in a parked car there, police said.

When officers approached the car, police said they saw Arthur, in his firefighter’s uniform, quickly remove something from his right arm. When they got to the car, Arthur’s arm was bleeding and he was staring at a Kindle in his lap, officers said.

Arthur was ordered out of the car, police said, and officers found some syringes, a spoon with black residue on it and several small plastic bags containing heroin stamped with the name Redrums on the front passenger seat.

Police said Arthur told them his car, a 2000 Saturn, had broken down and he was waiting for a tow truck. He didn’t know the name of the tow company, however.

In August 2002 Arthur was arrested in Fairfield following a crash on his motorcycle on the Post Road near the Fairfield Motor Inn.

According to police, Arthur was driving a 1996 Harley-Davidson with a 20-year-old woman as passenger, when he hit a street sign about 12 a.m. He was later convicted of illegally operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the incident and fined $500 and placed on two years probation.

Arthur is the second city firefighter arrested in recent months. In February, Edward Voccola, who was arrested Sept. 5 by Shelton police on attempted criminal assault charges, was fired from the department. Voccola is accused of dumping corrosive acid into his next door neighbor’s water line at the Woodland Home Park.

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