Berkeley County firefighter suspended after threatening reporters

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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ST STEPHEN, S.C. (WCSC) - The previously unidentified man accused of threatening two members of the Live 5 Investigates team while they were working on a story in Berkeley County is a volunteer firefighter, police say.

“If I see it, I’m coming after y’all two,” the man told a WCSC-TV reporter and producer on Oct. 18 outside the St. Stephen Volunteer Fire Department after insisting that video of his pickup truck on public property not be broadcasted.

Live 5 Investigates was in St. Stephen on Oct. 18 seeking public records involving another firefighter who had been wanted for felony rape. The reporter and producer were recording file video of the firehouse when the man drove the pickup truck over to where they were standing.

After a reporter and producer filed reports with the St. Stephen Police Department and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, St. Stephen Police and Fire Chief Lee Wadford identified the man in the pickup truck as Raymond Wadford, a member of the nearby Forty-One Volunteer Fire Department.

According the Chief Wadford, Raymond Wadford has been suspended from the Forty-One Volunteer Fire Department, pending an investigation into the threat by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

“From what I was told we are related somehow by grandfathers,” Chief Wadford said. “I don’t associate with him as family. He very seldom has shown up since the consolidation process.”

The Forty-One Volunteer Fire Department has been a sister agency of the St. Stephen’s Volunteer Fire Department since a consolidation of upper Berkeley County fire departments took place in June.

The St. Stephen Volunteer Fire Department serves as the parent agency and has administrative control of all five districts, according to Berkeley County. Chief Wadford says that Forty-One still has its own chief and board in place.

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