Missouri Man Arrested After Punching Two Firefighters in the Face for Taking Too Long to Put Out Fire Burning His Car

A Missouri man was arrested after two firefighters said he punched them in the face because they were taking too long to extinguish the flames engulfing his car.

Terrence Lambert, 24, crashed his car into a 22-year-old woman's vehicle in the vicinity of Natural Bridge and Newstead Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday evening, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis told Newsweek.

The police spokesman added that Lambert had fled the scene, but was forced to stop when his vehicle caught fire at the intersection of Natural Bridge and Shreve Avenue. Firefighters from the St. Louis Fire Department then arrived at the scene to put out the blaze in Lambert's vehicle on the sidewalk.

But police officers were called to the scene just before 6 p.m. and found Lambert being detained by firefighters at the scene. Lambert assaulted two firefighters while they were extinguishing the fire, the police spokesperson said.

The firefighters said Lambert had punched them in the face for taking too long to put out the fire, KSDK reported.

According to KMOV, a video filmed by a witness at the scene showed several firefighters attempting to restrain Lambert during the brawl. Sirens can be heard during the video.

In the clip, Lambert is seen being held down by the firefighters. He then jumps up and lunges towards one of them. After the camera panned to show the burning car on the sidewalk, one of the men is seen facing off against Lambert.

Lambert is seen attempting to throw a punch at him. The firefighter ducks down to avoid the blow and then manages to get Lambert down on the ground.

Lambert was charged with one misdemeanor court of wilfully failing/refusing to obey or resisting a firefighter in the proper discharge of their duties. He was released on his own recognizance on Monday, a police spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek. The investigation is ongoing.

Emergency medical crews responded to the scene on Friday, but the two firefighters, aged 40 and 49, declined medical attention.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson told Newsweek that the firefighters avoided injury during the incident. "Several of the firefighters were punched and shoved by the civilian as the video shows," he said, referring to the clip captured by a witness at the scene.

"The firefighters subdued the civilian to the ground and thought they had convinced him to relax and let them extinguish the vehicle fire, but again the civilian rushed and attacked the firefighters."

"One of the firefighters attempted again to convince the civilian to calm down, but he was rushed by the civilian who attempted to strike the firefighter. He ducked the punch, grabbed the civilian and brought him to the street and held him there until the St Louis Police Department arrived to control and arrest the individual."

Jenkerson added: "The members of the STLFD did a fantastic job controlling the scene and not causing any physical harm to the obviously disturbed civilian."

Update: This article has been updated to include comments from the St. Louis Fire Chief.

Terrence Lambert
Terrence Lambert was arrested and charged after he allegedly punched firefighters for taking too long to put out the fire burning his vehicle in St. Louis, Missouri. Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis