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Friday, 27 July 2018 17:14

RI Firefighter Charged With Attacking Body Shop Owner, Owner's Son

Written by Tom Mooney, Providence Journal
Willard Whiting Willard Whiting Courtesy of Cranston Police

A Providence, RI, firefighter currently on leave without pay faces felony assault charges after police say he attacked two men when they approached him as he was “screaming and yelling” at a woman to get on his motorcycle.

Police arrested Willard Whiting, 45, of 200 Cannon St. in Cranston, on July 24, two days after he allegedly assaulted the owner of Cranston Collision and the shop owner’s son early the morning of July 22 outside their Walnut Grove Avenue business.

 

Police say the victims had gone to the collision yard to cover a convertible car that had been towed into the lot earlier when they heard Whiting screaming at a woman.

 

“The disturbance and yelling continued, and when the owner and his son approached them, Whiting allegedly attacked the owner and his son, causing serious bodily injury,” Cranston police said in a statement. “When officers arrived, they found the son badly beaten and bleeding profusely.”

 

A witness who saw the assault provided officers with the license plate of the motorcycle, along with a description.

 

A felony warrant was issued for Whiting after the victims positively identified him as their attacker. The business owner was released from the hospital after being treated and his son is still being treated for “severe injuries and will likely require a long-term recovery.”

 

Whiting entered no plea at his initial court appearance July 24 and was released on personal recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on Oct. 23.

 

A spokeswoman for Providence’s police and fire departments said Whiting was a city firefighter currently on unpaid leave.

 

We thank Providence Journal for reprint permission.

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