A Harrison Township firefighter has been accused with evidence tampering.

A Harrison Township firefighter has been accused with evidence tampering.

Photo still from a video provided by the Macomb County Sheriff's Office


Harrison Twp. firefighter charged with tampering with evidence

Body cam video shows firefighter pick up pill bottle at crash scene

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published September 24, 2018

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A Harrison Township firefighter is on paid administrative leave after charges were filed against him involving evidence tampering at the scene of a fatal accident in August.

 

According to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and the Harrison Township Fire Department responded to a fatal, single motorcycle crash near the area of Executive Drive and Joy Boulevard in Harrison Township at 12:32 a.m. Aug. 21.

 

Responding deputies reported that an orange prescription pill bottle with multiple pills had been at the scene upon their arrival, a report states. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit, or CIU, was also activated and responded to the scene. Upon arrival of the CIU, the orange prescription pill bottle could not be located.

 

After review of deputies’ body cameras, it was found that a Harrison Township firefighter picked up the orange prescription pill bottle while on scene. After looking at the pill bottle, the firefighter maintained possession of it and walked to a different location of the scene. It is unknown what the firefighter did with the pill bottle from that point. Upon further investigation, the pill bottle could not be located, the report states.

 

“In an effort to be more transparent to our community, our deputies wear body worn cameras as part of their everyday uniform,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said. “Not only does this hold our deputies accountable for their actions but it also holds everyone around them, including the public and other first responders, accountable as well.”

 

The incident was presented to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office and a warrant was issued for Steven Hart, 45, for one count of tampering with evidence, a four-year felony. No attorney information was immediatley available for Hart.

 

“The public trust in our incredible first responders must remain strong in order for Macomb to remain a safe community,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith in a prepared statement. “Where we see wrong doing by one or our men or women in uniform, we must be vigilant in holding them accountable to the law.”


The Harrison Township Fire Department has been cooperative in the investigation.

 

Harrison Township Firefighters Local 1737 President Matthew Sahr declined to comment on the charges.

 

“(The) Harrison Firefighters Association never comments on ongoing investigations involving fire department employees,” Sahr said.

 

The operator of the motorcycle, a 36-year-old Clinton Township man, died Aug. 23 as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident. His female passenger, a 24-year-old Warren woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is still under investigation.

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