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Tampa firefighter arrested on child abuse charge

TAMPA — Sheriff's deputies arrested a Tampa Fire Rescue engine driver Monday on charges of child abuse, battery and tampering with a witness.

Julio Jesus Moran Jr., 43, got into an argument with a 39-year-old woman Monday, deputies said. During the fight, he kicked the woman in the lower leg, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A 17-year-old male who was at the house went to call 911, but Moran grabbed his neck and pushed him against a window, the Sheriff's Office reported. Moran then tried to take the phone, deputies said.

Moran had been living with the teen for about 18 months. The Sheriff's Office would not disclose their exact relationship.

Moran has worked for Tampa Fire Rescue for 18 years, said fire Capt. Bill Wade, an agency spokesman. He works out of a downtown station.

Moran was expected at work at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, but because he was in jail, Fire Rescue will allow him to use his vacation time.

Jail records show Moran was allowed by a judge to be released on his own recognizance.

Fire Rescue will hold a hearing to review the case. But if the felony charges remain, he will be fired, Wade said.

Similar action was taken in 1994, personnel records show. In September of that year, Moran was charged with grand theft and seven counts of dealing in stolen property. Because the charges were felonies, Fire Rescue fired him in October. State records show he pleaded no contest, but adjudication was withheld.

He applied to work with Fire Rescue again in October 1995, and was rehired in 1996 because the adjudication had been withheld, Wade said.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Reach Jessica Vander Velde at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Tampa firefighter arrested on child abuse charge 04/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 11:57pm]

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