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Community rallies behind man accused of assaulting firefighter

By Ryan Horton
Managing Editor

With several hundred taking to social media and nearly 100 more sending hand signed character letters to a local family, the community has rallied behind a Choctaw man accused of verbally berating and pushing a firefighter.

The site of a backyard fire that resulted in local fire departments being dispatched to investigate.

On Sunday, March 1 an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a home near SE 15th and Peebly Road to investigate a man accused of assaulting a firefighter.

Witnesses say several families were attending a cookout and gathering at the home of 41-year-old Jeremy Johnson.

The party would come to an end when Johnson was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County jail on a complaint of assault and battery on an emergency care provider.

“There were seven or eight people still sitting around a small fire that was just a couple smoldering logs, maybe two feet wide, in the backyard. When a female firefighter showed up, she said she had a call of a large fire in the Choctaw area, but admitted ours was no concern. But she wouldn’t leave or radio in that no additional response was needed, and more firefighters kept coming to the house,” said witnesses in attendance before, during and after the arrest of Johnson. “They kept showing up, and they weren’t wearing gear or uniforms to signal that they were even firefighters.”

The scene of the fire after being extinguished with sand by partygoers following the arrest of homeowner, Jeremy Johnson.

Witnesses say those firefighters were repeatedly asked to leave and to not enter the home, as Johnson’s 13-year-old daughter and her friend were the only individuals inside.

However, Johnson’s daughter soon ran to get her father from outside after discovering unknown men had let themselves into the residence.

Witnesses say that’s when Johnson confronted the firefighters gathered in his front yard.

“We had a deputy receive a call of an individual physically assaulting a firefighter. Said that he would track down the firefighter and kill him,” said OCSO spokesman Mark Myers. “He definitely shouldn’t be laying hands on him.”

When the OCSO deputy arrived, Johnson was arrested for pushing a firefighter.

Jeremy Johnson


“No one ever answered about who was in the house, and how long they were in the house. We didn’t know who anyone was, and they were all just wearing t-shirts. His daughter was not dressed appropriately, and you don’t let your teenage daughter be in that situation,” said witnesses.

“The firefighters just stood there the entire time staring and making jokes as Johnson was arrested, and his daughter cried. They never put out the controlled fire, and had no business being on the property or in the house for the amount of time they loitered there after being asked to leave.”

Choctaw City Manager Ed Brown says the property in question was unincorporated county.

The residence was not subject to municipal burning permits, and no burn ban was in effect at the time of the incident.

Harrah was the responding agency, and the Choctaw Fire Department arrived on scene to assist with the investigation.

It was a Choctaw firefighter that was allegedly pushed by Johnson. That firefighter is the son of Harrah Fire Chief, Neal Young.

City officials say, as policy, they cannot discuss personnel issues.


  1. Johnny Schofield on March 5, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    FF had no right or reason to go into the house.
    As long as no hydrocarbons were burning.
    Not illegal.
    Cookouts do not require a permit.
    Can’t stop anyone from feeding their family.

    • Danny on March 6, 2020 at 6:46 am

      I am so glad this side of the story was published. Obviously some of these firefighters need additional training on how to be respectful while in someone’s home. I am very disappointed in thier actions.

  2. Chris Darrow on March 6, 2020 at 7:24 am

    There’s always two sides to the story. Thankful to hear this one! This man has every right to be having that firepit and a controlled burn. That firefighter got off easy with just a push. No justification to enter that home or not leave when told to do so. He’s just lucky he wasn’t pushed away with gunpowder.

  3. Whitney Smith on March 6, 2020 at 8:57 am

    The Firefighters in this situation sounds to be in the wrong, when the first FF showed up on scene she should have reported it in that there was not an issue but didnt. Then for other FF to show up and not be in uniform is def. a issue and then to walk into this mans home where his daughter is when 1. It was not even part of this so called uncontrolled fire and 2. They had no permission to enter the home is a major issue. He is def lucky that all he got was pushed because this day and age you dont know who people are and ehat there true intentions are so I beileve this man handled it very well and the firefighter should be thanking the lord that all he got was a push, I know myself and I wouldnt have cared if your a firefighter or not if you are illeagally entering my home where my daughter is then I wouldnt have just pushed you. You are not above anything just because you are a firefighter you have rules you have to obey by even if you dad is a fire chief or not. The firefighter should be in trouble not this man and I hope that he gets justice!

  4. Lee Ann Crowe on March 6, 2020 at 10:45 am

    I’ve known Jeremy Johnson for 13 years he’s always been a very a respectful man loves his family worked hard and is a god fearing I believe he was placed in a terrible situation coming from fear for his family. I’ve never known Jeremy to take a drink ever since I’ve known him so that part I do not believe at all. Thank you for your time.

    • A on March 7, 2020 at 8:55 am

      He admitted to drinking so the rest of your “testimony” is irrelevant as you obviously don’t know this man like you think.

      • Mary Cornell on March 9, 2020 at 7:36 pm

        The knowledge that volunteer firefighters can come into someone’s home (in plain clouthes) when the fire in question is a bonfire outside is very disturbing.
        Upsetting a little girl who, in turn, runs to get her daddy for protection is very unprofessional.
        Dad was upset that there were strange men in the house with his little girl as a good father should be.

  5. Norman Finnie on March 7, 2020 at 10:09 am

    The charges need to be dropped in my opinion, the fire fighters had no reason to enter Jeremy’s home at any point under the circumstances especially after It was established there was no fire and were asked to leave.

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