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Leonia Fire Dept. Suspended In Wake Of Alleged Molestation

Teaneck And Fort Lee To Fill In
Leonia Fire Engine (credit: Leonia Volunteer Fire Department)

Leonia Fire Engine (credit: Leonia Volunteer Fire Department)

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LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A Bergen County borough has suspended its volunteer fire department after a teen was accused of molesting a firefighter’s 3-year-old son behind a fire truck.

Leonia has recruited the Teaneck and Fore Lee Fire Departments to respond to calls.

Borough Administrator Jack Terhune tells The Record newspaper it’s up to the mayor and council to decide whether the fire department needs to be reorganized. It’s not known when the 115-year-old department would reopen.

The fire department’s suspension came three days after police arrested 18-year-old Darius Levine. He’s accused of inappropriately touching the son of a firefighter.

Levine’s father told the newspaper his son has developmental disabilities, but firefighters allowed him to spend time at the firehouse.

The Record reported that Fire Chief David Bohnert said Levine had applied to be a volunteer firefighter and had passed a criminal background check, but had not taken the required physical exam.

Bohnert added that he did not expect Levine to become a firefighter, but that he encourages all applicants to spend time at the firehouse and talk with the firefighters to get a sense of what the job entails.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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