The Volunteer Fire Academy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
My first few years as a volunteer firefighter with the Plantation Fire Department located in Plantation, Florida.

Submitted: January 21, 2012

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Submitted: January 21, 2012



DISCRIMINATION: A True Story About Randy Pettitt and the Plantation fire Department

Chapter One

My first week on the Plantation Volunteer Fire Department (late 2006).

I was traveling home from Station One. I just got done with my first fire call. Some false alarm at Toys-R-Us. I could not get off the fire truck as a rookie----Blue Tip, but it sure felt good being there. Driving my silver 2000 Buick, I made a left onto NW 46th Avenue and headed north towards home. Suddenly, a chirp sounded, and blue lights glittered the area. I was pulled over by a cop. I noticed how his vehicle was turned outward and the overhead lights were briefly on----and then quickly turned off. Something was creepy here. I reached under my seat for my Tech-9. It was gone. To this day I don't know what happened to it. While digging for my identification, a white male police officer walked over to me and pounded on my driver side window. He was alone. I lowered my window and he said the words I'll never forget: "Put your hands on the steering wheel----both hands, do it now!" he demanded. He demanded that I open my mouth wide. I thought he was looking to see if I was hiding something like drugs in my mouth. He shined his flashlight light in my eyes and quickly shoved----what I knew was a gun----deep inside my mouth. The barrel of his Glock (I assume) was tickling my throat and I had to cough. I was afraid that if I coughed----his gun would go off. He put his flashlight away and used his left hand to rest it on his handle with his right. I looked as hard as I could for his name on his dark black uniform in the twilight hour----wrinkled too much, but I caught the last two letters: NG. His cap read: POLICE----go figure. My eyes watered as I fought the irresistible verge to cough. He appeared to be in his late twenties. "I read some shit about you on, Ghostwriter. We don't want you in our department. Go home and do-not-come-back!" he softly, but meaningfully demanded. ...That's about the entire story.

As the cop pulled the gun out from my mouth and away, he slowly sauntered back to his vehicle, I got smart and said back to him, "You've just videoed the entire scenario of what you just did from the camera on your dash." He never even looked back at me, he continued walking away, and said: "It doesn't record when the overhead lights are off." He got into his squad car and drove away----westward----down NW 2nd Street. I spat continuously to clear my mouth of the infected piece he shoved in my mouth. I never told anyone about this story. Not even my best friend who knew a cop named: Laura Grunas----until now. I'll go into detail about Laura later, and also, write about my involvement in a murder-suicide case that the Plantation Volunteer Fire Department members: Elson Soto, Mary Barth, Brian Sullivan and Mike Roth involved me with.

It all began with Terence Benson

Did this Volunteer Captain----Randy Pettitt----think I was really just going to walk away without a fight? About two years ago there was a volunteer firefighter of the Plantation Volunteer Fire Department named Terence Benson, who was later arrested for production of "child pornography." Days before his arrest, Terence's wife came to my front door and asked me if her husband was cheating on her. I told her I had no idea and she would not take "No" for an answer. Her name is Natalie. I told Natalie that I let Terence use my mother's condo downstairs whenever he wanted to get away from streesfull days and if he was bringing chicks over there to fuck, well, that's none of my business. I told Natalie that I allowed her husband Terence to use my mother's condo to get away from any stressful situations he tolerated while at work. I later found out through (at the time) Captain Rudy Gabor, who told me to keep Terence's case quiet; confirmed to me that Terence was just a boat mechanic----not the US Customs Agent that Terence lied to everyone about. Terence Benson lied to me about a lot of things, but I didn't care. It's all bullshit and that's what guys do. Natalie apparently googled my address and decided to confront me. She caught me off-guard----I lied my ass off to her----to cover up for Terence. I knew that Terence was fucking a shit load of girls who I had hooked him up with. I became his best friend. Shit, who wouldn't like me? A friend, that not only provided you a place to stay for free, but with chicks who put out? Pretty good friend.

I never knew about an escort he brought over to the condo until the FBI told me later on. Terence set up a camera in his motorcycle helmet to film himself----pretty slick----and he set it all up on the dresser beside the bed. He filmed the entire "fuck" on video. Let me tell you something: Don't ever film anything like that. Don't even film yourself doing anything. I see people on You Tube doing things that will bite them in the ass later on. Always keep a low profile----works for me. I hide from the world. I don't want anyone to know who the hell I am. I work 3rd shift where I only confront, maybe, ten people at most.

I can't blame a guy for wanting sex, especially, when I was having sex with some nice looking hispanics and black women in my end of town. I live in an primarily black neighborhood and I always told Terence about the black girls I took into the apartment I had downstairs and fucked them in all the time. My wife later found out, but she understood----as well as me understanding my wife doing her thing in her free time (no one's business) with other guys.

But getting back to Natalie Benson at my door. She got pissed off, and after failing to retrieve any further information from me, she departed. Terence and I continued to be good friends, since, like I previously mentioned, he knew about all the girls I had lined up and all the girls he could swing around with.

Getting laid was an easy thing for me because a lot of girls like quiet guys. Plus, I did drugs and alcohol----which made even more friends-n-girlie friends. That's right, I was a major drug addict----oops, I still am. I can picture Randy Pettitt reading this and going crazy over it. When I arrived to Station One, I noticed (at the time) Lieutenant Randy Pettitt and Lieutenant Chris Terwilliger bagging up Terence Benson's bunker gear. I asked Chris what happened, and he said, "Terence was arrested for child pornography." I was stunned by what I heard. We all had training that night at Station One and I told Chris Terwilliger, "Damn, Chris, I was going to call Terence tonight and to remind him about tonight's drill." Chris said, "Well, if you did, he wouldn't be there."

Terence was held at the Broward County Jail. The FBI arrested him----or, I was told, anyway. I never judge a book by its cover, and for as long as I knew Terence, I never once heard him ever talk about filming kids----or even having sex with them. I heard he put web cameras up in the daughters' bed rooms----some fucked up shit. I don't know the full story, but a police detective told me that Terence never touched the children.

Randy Phones the Police on me

A few nights passed and I called Lieutenant Randy Pettitt to ask him if he would like to visit Terence in jail; knowing he used to get shit-faced with Terence. They were friends. Randy said, "do you know what he did? I hope they throw the book at him. I'll keep my distance from Benson." Once Randy told me about the child porn produced on Terence's computer, I told Randy that Terence was on my computer before. I knew that Terence did not spend much time on my computer so I didn't give it much thought. Randy got all emotional----like he always does----and he said, "You need to call the police and tell them all of this." We soon got off the phone and guess what he did? He----himself---- calls the Plantation Police Department and tells them that Terence Benson was on my computer and may have downloaded child porn onto it. Can you believe that shit? About two hours passed and I got a call from a Plantation Police detective who said to me: she would transfer the message from Randy Pettitt (this is how I knew Randy said all of this) to the FBI. And shortly later, I got a call from the FBI. Thanks a lot Randy. Randy told me later on, "I did this for your protection!" No, you didn't, Randy. You ruled me out as a suspect----didn't you?

A few months later, the fire crew and I were headed back one evening to Station One from an association meeting----riding back on the old Engine 21. It's now Engine 25. In the nozzle chair I was seated, resting and listening-in on Randy Pettitt's conversation with the driver: Herb. Here's what Randy said: "I was at KOHL'S the other day and I noticed Natalie Benson there. She works there. I tried to avoid her when out-of-nowhere she walked right into me. She began talking to me about her husband Terence Benson and said that Terence and I (Randy) were close and asked if I (Randy) could be there for Terence when he gets out of jail." I listened closely to the rest of the conversation that Randy was having with the driver. Randy said that he told Natalie "no", that he would not be there for Terence when he gets out of jail. Randy then went on to say that Natalie began crying and he then departed the store. I had to add this to my story. It wasn't Natalie's fault, Randy----you should have shown a little respect for Natalie.

The FBI agent (I forget his name----George? Perhaps.) called me on the phone and said this: "I'm not saying you are guilty, but if you go to get your computer fixed----in let's say five years from now----and they find child pornography on it----they will phone the police and you'll never be able to explain how it got on there." I still declined, because I had personal things on there that I did not want the FBI, or anyone, to see. But the agent was right, he had a good point, and I agreed to have the FBI check it out and to delete anything that Terence could have downloaded onto it. I gave it some thought. You know, Randy is the reason these agents are coming to my place. And, if Randy, denies that he thought I was a suspect in this, why didn't he tell me he would come over to my place that day the agents examined my hard drive and be there with me; offer me some sort of comfort through this? I'll never forget him telling me, "You tell the police the truth!" Oh yeah, this guy thought I was a suspect for sure. No doubt in my mind.

I also phoned (at the time) Volunteer Captain Rudy Gabor, since he was a police reserve for Florida Fish & Game, and I asked him for his input in all this. He told me to pretend that the FBI agents were doctors and whatever personal pictures they find----not to worry about it. Yeah, basically, easily said than done since he's not going through any of this. I later ran into Rudy at Station One. He was dressed up in his wildlife officer uniform. He asked me how it went with the FBI. I told him it's all over with. They found nothing on my computer. Here's what went down that day: two agents came by my place. One man and one woman. They were very nice to me and I allowed them to do whatever they had to do. They could smell the aroma of marijuana in the air and them came out and told me it has nothing to do with their case, or what I do on the side----pretty cool agents. I asked them if they'd mind me smoking weed while they did their thing, and they kindly said, "not at all, it's your place and that has nothing to do with our case." Thankfully, there was nothing on my computer by Terence. Not one trace of child porn, or even a link to whatever Terence was doing. My wife was upset because I failed to ask her for permission for allowing the agents access to our private things. I told Randy that my wife was upset and this is exactly what Randy said to me over the phone, "Just let her be mad." My wife should have filed suit.

I was a quiet guy at the station and opened up to Terence who just got me in trouble. I always joked around saying to everyone after that: "I guess I should be a little quieter around here." But in all reality, it was not Terence Benson who got me in all this mess with the police and FBI----It was Randy Pettitt. Well, I was innocent Randy. Feel better now? Fuck you too!




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