Fire chief in Arundel hurt in fight with volunteer over fund raising

September 15, 2000|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

The chief of the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Department was injured in a fight with a company member and flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center this week, the result of a dispute over fund-raising tactics, authorities said yesterday.

Volunteer Chief James D. Schlotterbeck complained of neck pain and numbness after Anne Arundel County police broke up the fight between him and John Spiker on Tuesday night. He was released after treatment at Shock Trauma.

According to a police report, the argument in the chief's office was over whether Spiker should have been raising funds for the volunteer company on Mountain Road.

Schlotterbeck told police that Spiker grabbed his neck, and Spiker said the chief grabbed him by his belt and pushed him to the ground. Neither initially complained of pain when officers responded to the station, police said.

Neither man was arrested or charged, but each told officers he would file criminal complaints against the other, said Officer Charles Ravenell, a county police spokesman.

Both were placed on inactive status with the county fire department and won't be allowed to respond to emergency calls, said Battalion Chief John M. Scholz, county department spokesman.

The county department is not permitted to interfere with corporate affairs of volunteer companies, Scholz said. Spiker and Schlotterbeck may reapply for active volunteer duty, Scholz said, but not before the volunteer company investigates or acts.

Lake Shore's assistant chief and vice president, Milton J. Mekins Sr., said yesterday that the incident would be investigated and discussed at an executive board meeting Tuesday night.

Mekins said company officers need to talk to both men, who were reportedly alone in the office during the argument.

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