NHFD Battalion Chief Charged With Assault

WEST HAVEN - A Battalion Chief, for the New Haven Fire Department, has been arrested by West Haven Police and charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct after allegedly berating and grabbing a woman by the neck inside a business, where the New Haven Fire Department buys uniforms.

The alleged incident happened in October, inside the Horwitz Uniform company in West Haven. And the New Haven Battalion Chief has been on paid administrative leave ever since.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, New Haven Fire Department Battalion Chief Herschel Wadley, 53, went in to the Horwitz Uniform company to purchase fire department uniform items. And, he apparently had his eye on some boots. The only problem: the boots were not on the approved vendors list, according to the female employee who waited on him.

Well, that woman told police Wadley became visibly upset and asked her to “fudge“ the purchase order to make it look like he purchased them through the City of New Haven.

The police report said, when Wadley wasn't getting what he wanted, he started beating the woman and said he would steal the boots

Wadley told police he was only joking about that.

The woman claims he pushed her head and grabbed her by the back of the neck, squeezed it and shook it side to side, saying “I thought we were friends.“

He told police he never touched her and kept asking police if “you want to end my career as a fireman?”

Police said they did notice red marks on the female employee's neck, but the woman said part of that could have been from nerves, because she breaks out under stress.

The owner of the business, Robet Horwitz, was out of state at the time of the incident, but, he told Fox 61 Friday that he called New Haven Fire Chief John Alston about the alleged incident when he returned and Alston immediately placed Wadley on paid administrative leave.

And, according to police, M. Horwitz told them this was not the fist time Wadley had become loud and upset in the store when something that he wanted was not on the approved vendors list

Wadley's attorney would only say his client vehemently denies these charges. Wadley, a 23 year employee of the New Haven Fire Department, has no prior arrests, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.