2 Contra Costa firefighters arrested after scuffle with police

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Two Contra Costa County firefighters are now on paid administrative leave after being accused of getting into a fight with police officers while they were drunk.

Early Sunday the staff at Marriott Hotel on North Main in Walnut Creek called police for help in trying to get drunken guests to leave a hotel room.

Those guests included two off-duty firefighters, two of which were arrested. One of them is accused of assaulting two police officers.

Hours earlier, United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County held its 2nd Annual Ball at the hotel to raise money for the Bikes for Tykes charity.

"There was a firefighters’ charity ball that ended at 11 p.m. the night before. Our understanding is that the incident occurred at 5 a.m. the next morning," said Fire Marshall Robert Marshall with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
Police say the four drunken guests included 32-year-old Lontavious Johnson and 31-year-old Andrew Desmond.

Also arrested were Johnson's wife and Desmond's girlfriend.
The charges range from public intoxication to assaulting hotel security personnel.

News of a fight between off-duty firefighters and police is concerning to one Walnut Creek man who spoke with KTVU.

When asked if he was surprised by the altercation, Tony Ghazal replied, "Yes, that's bad. They are under the same fraternity...if you want to call it that."

"We look at the issue of public trust. We take that very seriously and we want to make sure we get it right," says the Fire Marshall.
United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, the firefighters union, said in a statement that it does not condone the alleged actions of the two firefighters.

"Local 1230 apologizes to the Marriott Hotel, the Walnut Creek Police Department, the Fire District and to the public we serve for this unfortunate incident at the site of our charity event.”
"When they are off duty, they are citizens like you and me and should be held accountable," says Ghazal.

The two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Walnut Creek Police said the case will soon be turned over to the district attorney's office.