Locker at local firehouse deemed ok

August 28, 2008
By

David Taber

Two firefighters under scrutiny

The Jamaica Plain firehouse made news Aug. 22 when it was reported that a locker used by Deputy Fire Chief Peter Pearson, who has been charged with rape, had been tampered with.

According to the Boston Fire Department (BFD), however, the locker was not locked.

BPD spokesperson James Keneally confirmed the tampering investigation is closed. “Detectives developed additional information indicating there was no suspicious activity in and around [Pearson’s] locker,” he said.

Pearson was arrested in Brockton. Brockton and Boston Police executed a search warrant for the locker on Aug. 21.

The Boston Globe reported that the area around Pearson’s locker was declared a crime scene after fire personnel told detectives that they could not locate the key to the locker. Upon inspecting the locker, detectives found the key jammed into the lock, the story said.

A BPD spokesperson told the Globe that, as of Aug. 22, the area around the locker was an active crime scene, and police were investigating whether the locker had been tampered with.

But according to Boston Fire Department spokesperson Steve MacDonald, the whole incident was “frankly, much ado about nothing.”

“The Boston Police Department showed up to hold the scene,” until Brockton Police could arrive and execute the search warrant, MacDonald said. “[The locker] was unlocked to begin with,” he said.

According to news reports, Pearson, an East Bridgewater native and 23-year BFD veteran was recently arrested in Brockton for allegedly impersonating a state police officer and forcing a prostitute to perform sexual acts at gunpoint in June of this year.

He has since been charged in crimes relating to similar accusations by two other women, the Globe reported.

The Herald reported that he was previously arrested for allegedly soliciting sex for a fee in the mid-1990s. That case was continued without a finding.

The JP firehouse at 746 Centre St. has also been in the news in connection with the case of firefighter Albert Arroyo.

In July the Globe posted a videotape on its web site of Arroyo participating in a body-building contest weeks after his doctor reported he was permanently disabled with a back injury after a fall at the JP fire station.

Arroyo was ordered back to work at the JP firehouse on July 21, but he did not show up. The BFD decided not to reinstate Arroyo after a hearing on Aug. 21, the Globe reported.

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