Firefighters held Captive for Booze and Pills
So, here’s a thing you don’t hear about often: the Cleveland Fire Department responded to a brush fire and ended up being held hostage for alcohol and prescription medication.
On Wednesday evening a call was received at the Cleveland Fire Department reporting the brush fire in the township, which is about 35 miles from Cleveland. According to the Washington Post, just over an hour after that call was received, the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office also received a call: a man wielding a gun had taken some the firefighters responding to the fire hostage.
That man, Roy Griffith Jr., wasn’t seeking millions or trying to gain notoriety. In fact, when police arrived and asked for his demands, Griffith only wanted two things: alcohol and his prescription medication.
While it’s unclear if Griffith had a legitimate medical need for the medication or if he was suffering from addiction, holding firefighters hostage is an extreme way of getting it. The request for alcohol lends to the belief that perhaps he was desperate to assuage the urges associated with prescription drug abuse.
His reaction to attempts to negotiate also suggest he may have been under the influence during the ordeal. He accused the lieutenant on the scene of lying to him, saying, “You’ve already got people in the field. I can smell ‘em and I heard ‘em.” Such paranoia is often associated with drug use.
His actions were definitely out of character according to his neighbor, Patricia Hembree.
“He’s such a nice guy. The kids would go down the road with their bikes, and he’d repair all of their bikes for them… He’s always been friendly.” she said of Griffith.
Two hours after the call to Lorain County police the standoff ended in surrender with no injuries. However, in his bid to get the alcohol and pills, Griffith was arrested and charged with kidnapping, inducing panic, among other charges.
Suffice it to say, he probably didn’t think his plan through too well.
Do you think Griffith should face charges for his actions? Give us your opinion!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.