New Haven Firefighter Charged With Assault After Incident Over Boots at West Haven Uniform Store: Police

A battalion chief with the New Haven Fire Department has been arrested and charged with assault and other charges after an incident about a pair of boots at a uniform supply company in West Haven in October, according to police.

Herschel Wadley, 53, of Milford, was arrested Thursday night and charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

The arrest warrant application says officers responded to Horwitz Uniforms in West Haven around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 to investigate the allegations and met with an employee who was crying.

She told police that Wadley had gone into the store while he was off-duty to buy shirts, pants and boots.

Members of the fire department have clothing allotments and vouchers for Horwitz Uniforms and Wadley was upset when he was told that the boots he wanted to buy were not on the approved vendor list so he told the employee to “fudge” the purchase order to make it look like they were, according to the arrest warrant application.

The employee told police that Wadley started berating her when he was told he could not get the boots and made a comment that he would steal them.

When the employee threatened to tell the store owner that Wadley had said he would steal the boots, he pushed her head and grabbed her by the back of the neck, according to the arrest warrant application.

Other employees told police they heard Wadley raising his voice and berating the employee.

Wadley was placed on paid administrative leave after the department was notified of the incident, according to the arrest warrant application. The fire chief said Friday that Wadley remains on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the case.

When police spoke with Wadley on Nov. 5, he told them he had tried to order boots, but could not because they did not have a steel toe and he was OK with that.

He also claimed his statement about taking the boots was in jest and denied touching the employee, according to court paperwork.

Wadley was released on a promise to appear and is due in Milford Superior Court on Dec. 18.

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