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6 DC Fire and EMS employees on leave after street brawl

DC Fire and EMS is conducting a joint investigation into the fight with the DC Metropolitan Police Department.

WASHINGTON — Several employees of DC Fire and EMS are on administrative leave after a video showed responding crews engaged in a brawl with a man in Northwest D.C. The incident happened Tuesday night, near the intersection of Florida Avenue Northwest and North Capitol Street Northwest.

Police have also charged the man, Charles Simpkins, II, 43, of no fixed address, with assault on a firefighter.

Witnesses say Simpkins had climbed under a Metrobus, grabbed a wheel and refused to let go. 

Firefighters were dispatched for the man under a Metrobus.

A WUSA9 photographer who was on the scene said Simpkins was belligerent and combative with several firefighters and then punched one of the firefighters in the face. That's when the brawl broke out.

The incident was caught on camera by the WUSA9 photographer. The video appears to show responding DCFEMS staff and Metropolitan Police Department officers attempting to bring Simpkins into custody. 

Simpkins is on the ground and firefighters are seen on top of him. Responding police officers eventually break up the initial fight, and stand Simpkins up. According to the incident report, the fight started because the man threw a punch at one of the firefighters on scene.

Police tell the man several times to get on the ground, and he does not appear to in the video. While trying to bring the man into custody, several officers are also seen struggling with the man.

Simpkins was eventually arrested for assault, according to the incident report.

DC Fire and EMS spokesperson Vito Maggiolo told WUSA9 in a statement that he is aware of the video. He said six members of the fire department have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of a joint investigation between DC Fire and EMS and the Metropolitan Police Department.

"The actions depicted in a video of the incident are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the behavior we require of our members," Maggiolo said in a statement Wednesday.  

Maggiolo said police and fire officials are both investigating the incident.

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