Retired firefighter arrested for using hydrant to fill pool - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Retired firefighter arrested for using hydrant to fill pool

By Joe Danneman - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A retired Cincinnati firefighter is in hot water after he's accused of using a fire hydrant to fill his backyard pool.

John Lee says he routinely cleaned and flushed hydrants as a Cincinnati firefighter for 30 years. But now he's accused of tapping into a hydrant to illegally fill his pool.

Lee spent part of his weekend behind bars, charged with theft.

"Two or three hours. Wasn't pleasant," he said.

The 80-year-old former firefighter is accused of plugging a garden hose into a Sayler Park hydrant to fill his grandson's pool.

"I don't know. Just spur of the moment thing," said Lee.

According to a police report, Lee told officers he's done this before, but after his courtroom hearing Monday afternoon, he told FOX19 News this is the first time he's ever plugged into a hydrant to fill a swimming pool.

"What they did to him last night, I just feel it wasn't right," said Mickey Wilson, a neighbor.

Neighbors say someone tipped off police before Lee could finish filling the pool.

"It took them 45 minutes to figure are they going to arrest him for what charge," said Javijon Reese, another neighbor.

Cincinnati Water Works officials say hydrant theft is very rare, but is treated seriously because of possible risk.

"They're very concerned that if somebody would try to operate one, they would break it," said David Rager, Water Works director.

Lee's theft charge carries a maximum of 6-months in jail. He is out of jail now, but is due back in court later this month.

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