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Orlando fire chief resigns, citing North Carolina charges

Benjamin Barksdale is accused of punching a man and his daughter.
Benjamin Barksdale, who resigned as Orlando Fire Department chief, faces two misdemeanor assault charges.
Benjamin Barksdale, who resigned as Orlando Fire Department chief, faces two misdemeanor assault charges.
Published Oct. 24

ORLANDO — The Orlando fire chief has resigned his post, citing a legal case where he is accused of punching two people inside a North Carolina restaurant.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Fire Department Chief Benjamin Barksdale sent an email to the city’s chief administrative officer saying his decision was for the “best interest” of the city. He resigned Friday.

Barksdale is accused of punching a 55-year-old man and his daughter after going inside a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late July. Authorities say he demanded to use the bathroom when the business was closed. Barksdale turned himself in after warrants were issued for two misdemeanor assault charges.

Barksdale had served as Orlando’s fire chief since September 2019, but he had been suspended with pay in August after the arrest warrants were issued in the July 28 incident.