The incident happened on July 4th in a field located behind a row of houses. At approximately 9:30 p.m., some brush caught fire due to errant use of fireworks. Spectators quickly assisted and one woman called 9-1-1 for help.
“An apparent spark lit a tree over there from an old orchard on fire,” said 36-year-old Santaquin resident, Jason Thornton. “Myself, my two nephews, and a few neighbors rushed to action, got our hoses out, contained the fire to one tree, waiting for the fire department to show up.”
Mr. Thornton continued: “While fighting the fire, somebody said, ‘stop!’ I told them, ‘no’ in a very unpolite way. He told me again to stop. I said, ‘No, I’m manning this fire. I’m not stopping until the fire department gets here.’”
“Then the man came over and put me in handcuffs and told me I was under arrest,” he said. “They gave me a citation for disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice.”
His wife, Kelly, told Police State USA that the arrest was totally uncalled for.
“He was out with the a lot of neighbors helping out,” said Kelly. “I had called 9-1-1. They had the fire under control when a cop came up to them and told them to stop. [Jason] did not know it was a cop. He told the cop he was not stopping until the fire department got there.”
“While he was spraying down the ambers, the cop told him he was arresting he put him in handcuffs and took him to his car,” Kelly told Police State USA. “The fire department was not there yet. It was a crazy, intense situation. The cop did not even try to help with the fire.”
Kelly told Police State USA that her husband is a first responder and has incident command training. One of the neighbors helping out was also a Santaquin firefighter. “He was not in danger in any way, nor was anyone else,” she said.
The cop was identified by Mrs. Thornton as Officer M. Drussell from the Santaquin Police Department.
“If I’m obstructing justice, protecting my home, and many others in Santaquin, Utah, that is crazy,” said Jason Thornton.