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Police: Palm Beach County firefighter crashed into five vehicles, then fled scene

Posted at 3:23 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 19:03:20-05

DAVIE, Fla. — A Palm Beach County firefighter is under arrest after police say he hit five vehicles while under the influence, then took off.

According to the Davie Police Department, John Michael Gratton crashed his Dodge Ram 2500 into those cars on Jan. 19 near the 4800 block of SW 163rd Avenue, then ran into a field.

Officers said they found Gratton hiding under a bush and bleeding. A K-9 was used to apprehend Gratton, police said.

According to his arrest report, Gratton is employed by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

An officer said he smelled alcohol on Gratton's breath, his eyes were bloodshot, glassy, and watery, and he struggled to stand.

"He stumbled over his own feet several times and started to babble about being a fire fighter," Gratton's arrest report states.

Police said it appears Gratton was driving his truck for miles with only a front left rim and flat front right tire.

According to an arrest report, officers found a grinder in Gratton's vehicle that tested positive for cannibis.

He was taken to Cleveland Clinic Hospital where he refused to take a blood test.

Two victims were also taken to the hospital with injuries.

Gratton is facing several charges including DUI causing property damage, reckless driving, resisting an officer without violence, failing to remain at an accident, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue told WPTV that Gratton has been with the agency since 2002.

Gratton is on administrative leave without pay.