Fire Official, Police Diver Scuffle At Rescue Scene: Sources

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Police and fire officials respond to a Nov. 1, 2011 water-rescue call. (CBS)

Police and fire officials respond to a Nov. 1, 2011 water-rescue call. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Sources say a Chicago Fire captain shoved a police officer earlier this month, as they tried to rescue two men from the water near Goose Island.

So how did this scene turn so ugly?

As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, it was a close call on the early morning of Nov. 1. During the emergency call, two people were in trouble in the Chicago River’s North Branch near North and Magnolia avenues.

Chicago firefighters and police officers responded, and the two victims were rescued. But sources tell CBS 2 a police diver was the victim of a battery, and a fire captain was the alleged aggressor.

One source says when the police diver went to work on the rescue, the fire captain tried to stop him and either shoved him or threw him to the ground.

CBS 2 spoke with the captain’s wife, who dismissed the allegations.

“It’s all gossip,” she said. “It’s all people making up stories.”

But why would they do such a thing?

“They do that, I don’t know. It’s nothing. I’m serious,” she said.

She went on to say that the captain had suffered no consequences for the alleged incident.

“Not arrested, not suspended, there’s no charges that have been filed. They probably won’t,” the captain’s wife said.

But a CBS 2 source says the police diver has filed a case report against the fire captain alleging battery.

As for what happened, another source says when the police diver went to work on the rescue, the fire captain tried to stop him, and either shoved him or threw him to the ground.

“If you have any questions, ask the Fire Department,” the captain’s wife said. “They’ll tell you what you need to know.”

A Fire Department spokesman says there is an active investigation into the alleged incident.

Police said the men the two first responders were rescuing had been drinking by the banks of the river and ended up slipping into the water. Crews rescued the men and took them both to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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