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Friday, March 21, 2008

[MA] Fire Insp. Gaston can strangle girlfriend, threaten his cop-ex-wife, but in trouble for pot?

ANTHONY ["TONY"] GASTON, A BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT FIRE INSPECTOR WAS ARRESTED FRIDAY AND CHARGED WITH SMOKING MARIJUANA IN A DEPARTMENT CAR... BAIL WAS REVOKED ON AN UNRELATED 2007 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE. GASTON , 47, OF DORCHESTER FACES CHARGES HE BEAT AND TRIED TO STRANGLE HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND... THEN PUNCHING HER IN THE EYE... IN FRONT OF HER TWO DAUGHTERS... [SHE] FILED A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST HIM LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LATER. "MY GIRLS AND I ARE SCARED TO GO OUT... HE FOLLOWS US AROUND"... HIS FORMER WIFE - WHO WAS IDENTIFIED AS A BOSTON POLICE OFFICER IN COURT RECORDS, SAID HE THREATENED TO KILL HER WHILE THEY WERE MARRIED IN 1995... SHE MADE A SIMILAR ACCUSATION IN 2001, WHEN THEY WERE ABOUT TO DIVORCE. PROSECUTORS SAID THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO GO TO TRIAL BOTH TIMES, BUT AGREED TO DISMISS THE CHARGES AS LONG AS GASTON STAYED OUT OF TROUBLE...

Heroic Boston Firefighter Arrested In Drug Bust
WBZTV
Mar 7, 200
[Excerpts] A veteran Boston firefighter, who was credited with saving more than a dozen lives in a 2002 blaze, was arrested Friday afternoon in a drug bust in Dorchester. Boston Police say officers from the anti-crime unit were on a routine patrol on Dunlap Street at 2:40 p.m. when they noticed three people smoking inside a Boston Fire Department vehicle. As the men opened the door, officers say they smelled marijuana. Several bags of the drug were found in the vehicle, according to police. All three men were arrested. One of them was firefighter Anthony Gaston, a fire prevention inspector. Investigators said while he was in uniform, Gaston was not on duty at the time. Officers said he was also carrying the prescription pain-killer Percocet... There has been no comment from the Boston Fire Department. "We do not have all the facts of the case," Ed Kelley, President of the Boston Firefighters Union, said in a statement. "Firefighter Gaston deserves his day in court. However, if he is convicted of those charges, there is absolutely no room for that behavior on the Boston Fire Department"... [Full article here]

JAKE BUSTED ON DRUG RAP
Cops say firefighter had dope in BFD car

Boston Herald (MA)
O'Ryan Johnson
March 8, 2008
[Excerpts] ONE DAY AFTER BOSTON FIRE UNION OFFICIALS STORMED OUT OF TALKS WITH THE CITY OVER DRUG TESTING, a uniformed jake was arrested in Dorchester when cops spotted him allegedly smoking a joint inside a department car, police said... [Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve]MacDonald said Gaston was off duty yesterday and could not explain why the firefighter was uniformed and inside a department car... Gaston 's arrest comes just two weeks after the Fire Department released a controversial board of inquiry report that ignored possible drug and alcohol use by two firefighters killed in a West Roxbury blaze. City officials made drug and alcohol testing a top priority after an August blaze at the Tai Ho restaurant killed firefighters Paul Cahill and Warren Payne. The Herald has previously reported that sources briefed on the men's toxicology results said Payne had traces of cocaine in his system and Cahill had a blood alcohol level of .27, three times the drunken driving threshold... "Our official comment is we don't know all the facts of the case and we're not going to make a comment till we do," [Firefighter union boss Ed]Kelly said... [Full article here]

Bail Revoked For Boston Firefighter In Drug Bust
WBZTV
Mar 10, 2008
[Excerpts] A veteran Boston firefighter was taken back into custody Monday, three days after he was arrested on drug charges... Gaston pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Dorchester District Court Monday morning. He posted $1,000 bail after his arrest and was set free. That bail was revoked Monday because of a pending domestic violence charge... He was placed on administrative leave with pay. Gaston has been with the department for 26 years... [Full article here]

Firefighter's bail revoked in assault
Anthony Gaston has denied drug charges.

Boston Globe
By Maria Cramer
March 11, 2008
[Excerpts] Anthony Gaston, a Boston firefighter who was arrested Friday and charged with smoking marijuana in a department car, is scheduled to go to trial later this month to defend himself against charges that he assaulted his former girlfriend in front of her two daughters last spring... Judge Sydney Hanlon revoked bail that was set last year after Gaston was charged with assault and battery in allegedly choking Crystal Evans and then punching her in the eye in June. Evans filed a restraining order against him less than two weeks later. "My girls and I are scared to go out," Evans wrote in an affidavit. "He follows us around." Gaston's lawyer, Tim Brown, told Hanlon yesterday that his client was not a threat to the community. "This is a simple possession case with a very unremarkable amount of" marijuana, he said. "There is nothing about the new case that makes Mr. Gaston more dangerous than before"... Gaston, who was not suspended after the assault charge, had notified the department about that arrest... Gaston has been accused of threatening women in the past. His former wife, Avonda Graham, who was identified as a Boston police officer in court records, said he threatened to kill her while they were married in 1995, according to a police report. She made a similar accusation in 2001, when they were about to divorce. Prosecutors said there was enough evidence to go to trial both times, but agreed to dismiss the charges as long as Gaston stayed out of trouble, according to court records. In 2000, Gaston was arrested by Natick police who said they caught him driving under the influence of alcohol and found marijuana on him, according to the Natick District Court clerk's office. His license was suspended for 45 days. The drug charges were dismissed in February 2001- because Gaston had agreed to random urine tests and had not been arrested again... [Full article here]

Assault rap keeps accused firefighter in jail
Boston Herald (MA)
Jessica Fargen
March 11, 2008
[Excerpts] ...Gaston , a 26-year BFD veteran who was once lauded for rescuing residents from a 2002 fire, was handcuffed and hauled off to jail after his bail was revoked on an unrelated 2007 domestic violence case. Gaston , 47, of Dorchester faces charges he beat and tried to strangle his ex-girlfriend last spring at her Mattapan apartment... [Full article here]

1 comment:

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    Firefighter's bail revoked in assault
    Anthony Gaston has denied drug charges.
    Boston Globe
    By Maria Cramer
    Globe Staff / March 11, 2008

    Anthony Gaston, a Boston firefighter who was arrested Friday and charged with smoking marijuana in a department car, is scheduled to go to trial later this month to defend himself against charges that he assaulted his former girl- friend in front of her two daughters last spring.
    more stories like this

    Gaston, 47, was arraigned on charges of possession of marijuana and prescription pills in Dorchester District Court yesterday, as details of his past surfaced through court records.

    A not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of Gaston, who declined to comment.

    Gaston was arrested in Dorchester after police officers, acting on a tip from a confidential informant, saw him and two other men smoking what appeared to be marijuana in a red Chevrolet Malibu, which Gaston uses in his position as an inspector in the department's Fire Prevention Division, prosecutors said.

    Police found five bags of marijuana in the car and on one of the men, according to a police report.

    Judge Sydney Hanlon revoked bail that was set last year after Gaston was charged with assault and battery in allegedly choking Crystal Evans and then punching her in the eye in June. Evans filed a restraining order against him less than two weeks later.

    "My girls and I are scared to go out," Evans wrote in an affidavit. "He follows us around."

    Gaston's lawyer, Tim Brown, told Hanlon yesterday that his client was not a threat to the community.

    "This is a simple possession case with a very unremarkable amount of" marijuana, he said. "There is nothing about the new case that makes Mr. Gaston more dangerous than before."

    Gaston will be held until his trial for assault and battery starts March 27.

    The men who were in the car with him - Richard Jackson, 43, of Mattapan and Andre Knox, 41, of Dorchester, were also charged with possession of marijuana and released on personal recognizance.

    Knox, a painter, declined to comment as he left the courtroom.

    Jackson said he has known Gaston since the 1980s, when the two men were part of a rap group called "Gang Peace Patrol."

    "It's ignorance," Jackson said of the charges.

    Gaston's arrest occurred as the firefighters' union and city officials are negotiating a new contract. City officials have been calling for firefighters to be tested for drugs and alcohol, especially since autopsy results indicated that two firefighters were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they died fighting a restaurant fire in West Roxbury Aug. 29.

    Gaston was suspended with pay after the drug arrest.

    Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said officials made that decision because Gaston, who was supposed to be off duty, was in uniform and using a department car when he was arrested.

    Gaston, who was not suspended after the assault charge, had notified the department about that arrest, MacDonald said.

    "That doesn't constitute putting someone on leave with pay," he said. "It's a case-by-case basis."

    Gaston has been accused of threatening women in the past. His former wife, Avonda Graham, who was identified as a Boston police officer in court records, said he threatened to kill her while they were married in 1995, according to a police report. She made a similar accusation in 2001, when they were about to divorce.

    Prosecutors said there was enough evidence to go to trial both times, but agreed to dismiss the charges as long as Gaston stayed out of trouble, according to court records

    In 2000, Gaston was arrested by Natick police who said they caught him driving under the influence of alcohol and found marijuana on him, according to the Natick District Court clerk's office. His license was suspended for 45 days. The drug charges were dismissed in February 2001, according to the clerk's office, because Gaston had agreed to random urine tests and had not been arrested again.

    John R. Ellement and Donovan Slack of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

    Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/11/firefighters_bail_revoked_in_assault/



    Assault rap keeps accused firefighter in jail
    Boston Herald (MA)
    Jessica Fargen
    March 11, 2008

    The pot plot thickened yesterday for Anthony Gaston , the $97,000-a-year Bostonfirefighter who was arrested for allegedly smoking a joint in a Fire Department vehicle with an accused drug dealer sitting in the back seat.

    Gaston , a 26-year BFD veteran who was once lauded for rescuing residents from a 2002 fire, was handcuffed and hauled off to jail after his bail was revoked on an unrelated 2007 domestic violence case. Gaston , 47, of Dorchester faces charges he beat and tried to strangle his ex-girlfriend last spring at her Mattapan apartment.

    Gaston , a fire prevention inspector, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the pot trial.

    Police say Gaston , who was wearing his uniform, and two other men were parked in front of a fire hydrant on Dunlap Street in Dorchester Friday afternoon smoking marijuana. Police say they discovered five bags of marijuana, three joints and a plastic pill bottle.

    Passengers Andre Knox, 41, of Dorchester and Richard Jackson, 43, of Mattapan were charged with marijuana possession and released yesterday. Knox is due back Thursday on unrelated charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in a school zone.

    Attorneys said the three men had small amounts of marijuana. Not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf.

    Judge Sydney Hanlon revoked Gaston 's bail in the domestic violence case, which goes to trial March 27. Gaston 's 44-year-old ex-girlfriend claimed he assaulted her June 12 as she was getting ready to take her two daughters to school.

    In 2000, Gaston was charged with drunken driving and marijuana possession in Natick District Court. He was given probation on the pot bust; the OUI charge was continued without a finding.

    - jfargen@bostonherald.com

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1079381

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