WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Palm Beach County firefighter who flagged down a cop to report a stolen laptop case early Tuesday ended up in jail after the officer found a crack pipe in the fire fighter's pocket, police said.
Mark E. Freseman, 45, of North Palm Beach, was arrested at about 2 a.m. by a Riviera Beach police officer, according to a probable cause affidavit.
"I can confirm Mr. Freseman is a firefighter with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue," said Fire Rescue spokesperson Capt. Albert Borroto in an email. Asked how the arrest would impact Freseman's employment, Borroto said no decision has yet been made.
"We have just been made aware of this situation and the department is waiting for all the facts before any determination is made," Borroto said.
It's not the first time Freseman has been in trouble. In 2003, he resigned from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office while being investigated for allegedly violating moral character standards, records show.
"He is an ex-employee," said Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera in an email. Barbera was unable to confirm the reason for Freseman's departure.
Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Freseman declined to comment.
"No comment, thank you," Freseman said.
According to the arrest report, the arresting officer approached Freseman's GMC Envoy, which was parked in the middle of the road on East 27th Street, east of Broadway. The officer said he noticed an open can of cold Four Loco in the console. Four Loco is a malt liquor beverage.
Freseman told the officer he withdrew some money from a nearby bank and was going to hang out with an "unknown white female," the report stated. Instead of hanging out, however, the female took his laptop case and charger from his vehicle. Other officers searched the area for the female – to no avail.
The officer asked Freseman to get out of his car for a pat-down. In Freseman's right front pocket, the officer said he found a glass tube with wire mesh at the burnt end – a crack pipe.
Police said they also found two prescription bottles in the vehicle. One contained a white substance later determined to be cocaine, police said. The other allegedly contained 17 Hydrocodone pain killers and two Carisoprodol muscle relaxants.
Freseman told police he had a prescription for the medication but left the bottle at home, the arrest report stated.
Freseman is also a licensed emergency medical technician and paramedic, according to state records. In a 2006 newspaper article he said his greatest achievement was being hired by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.
Freseman was booked in at the Palm Beach County jail just before 6 a.m. and charged with 19 counts of possession without a prescription, one count of possession of cocaine, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of having an open container. He was released at 1:30 p.m. on a $42,000 bond, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
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