Mt. Pleasant Borough fireman catches heat over online comments about Antwon Rose protesters
The Mt. Pleasant Borough Volunteer Fire Department will vote next month on whether to suspend one of its members over his social media comments threatening to harm those blocking the Homestead Grays Bridge on Friday night in protest of an East Pittsburgh police officer fatally shooting an unarmed teenager June 19.
Chief Jerry Lucia said Saturday the department will consider suspending Brian Vought of Mt. Pleasant over his social media comments when the membership meets July 19.
“The comments made were unacceptable, and we do not tolerate them being made,” the fire department posted on its Facebook page Saturday. “That member's comments do not reflect the thoughts of our department. The member HAS been removed from the organization following these comments.”
“We go out to save lives, not to create problems,” Lucia said of the fire department.
Lucia said he considers Vought, a firefighter for two years, as being “removed” from the department because he has been inactive for about two months as a result of injuries sustained in an accident.
“Our sympathies are with the family” of the slain boy, Antwon Rose, 17, Lucia said.
Vought could not be reached for comment.
People have used social media to unfairly target volunteer fire departments in Mt. Pleasant Township in Westmoreland County, as well as the Mt. Pleasant Township department in Washington County.
The Calumet Volunteer Fire Department in Mt. Pleasant Township asked on its Facebook page “to please stop sending us hate mail regarding the actions of firefighter Brian Vought. He is not a member of our fire department, or a member of the five fire departments in our township.”
The Calumet fire department stated that “his actions do not reflect those of any member in our department.”
The volunteer fire department in Mt. Pleasant Township, Washington County, acknowledged that there are multiple towns named Mt. Pleasant and more than one fire department.
“Please confirm you are contacting the correct Mt. Pleasant fire chief when reporting any issue,” the Washington County department wrote.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.