Manchester police confirmed on Thursday that a volunteer firefighter was arrested recently and is being accused of threatening a fellow firefighter with a knife.
Police said 21-year-old Dean Gates was charged with second-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace after an incident on May 27.
On that day, police said another firefighter was “poking fun” at Gates after he sneezed.
Gates then allegedly approached the other firefighter with an 8-inch kitchen knife and held it to his throat.
Police said no injuries were reported and Gates was suspended immediately and is currently suspended.
Some local residents said they understand the strain that comes with being a firefighter but believe a standard of professionalism must be maintained.
"They go into such dangerous situations. They've got to have each other's back all the time. They've got to know they can trust each other," said Marcia Banach of Tolland.
"What they do in town, the police and fire departments, they are awesome, they really are, probably the best in the state," said Jay Roman of Manchester.
The man Gates allegedly threatened continues to work with the fire department.
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