Hillsborough Firefighter accused of withholding evidence from biker gang shooting

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Also accused of violating anti-gang policy

(video)--A local firefighter is accused of refusing to hand over evidence from a motorcycle gang shooting. The I-Team reveals why his potential affiliation with the gang could cost him his career.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue firefighter, Clint Walker, was an Outlaw for a couple of years. The Outlaws Motorcycle Club is considered a criminal gang among law enforcement and county officials say Walker's continued loyalty to the gang could cost him his career.

He is the first firefighter to be investigated under an anti-gang policy county officials implemented after a series of I-Team investigations.

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In an exclusive interview with Walker he says, "it was a very one sided investigation. I didn't do what they're trying to say I did."

 

He's accused of refusing to hand over crime scene evidence to a sheriffs' deputy, and wearing his uniform off duty to gain unauthorized access at a hospital.

This started after James Costa, a former Hillsborough Fire Captain and President of a local Outlaws chapter, was shot while riding his bike down highway 41 in July.

RELATED: Outlaws chapter president and former Hillsborough firefighter was shot

First responder Jason Vasquez called Walker at his home while Walker was off duty. Walker then rushed to the hospital and waited for the rescue unit.

The investigation report says, without permission Walker jumped into the rescue and changed into his uniform to "gain unauthorized access and utilized his position as a uniformed firefighter for personal reasons or gain."

But Walker has a different perspective. 

"That's incorrect, that's a misrepresentation of facts. The fact is I wore a department shirt to show solidarity and brotherhood for a retired firefighter."

While in the emergency room, Walker takes possession of Costa's belongings, including his sacred Outlaws MC vest, which even Walker admits is not to be possessed by outsiders. Walker put the Outlaws clothing in his car.

The Outlaws vest was considered evidence for a shooting investigation. When a deputy asked Walker for it, the report states Walker refused to hand it over.

Another allegation Walker denies, "I did not refuse, all I did was redirect. There's a big difference. I redirected her to speak to the owner of the belongings."

Reporter: "I guess the difference here is this is a law enforcement officer needing evidence for a crime scene."
Walker: "Right. And in this instance there was no reason why they can't ask him directly."

The county's investigator and former FBI agent states Walker was "hindering the deputy" and "interfered with the collection of evidence."

A claim Walker passionately disputes. 

"If I had involved myself in this investigation, I would've been arrested and charged with a crime. Not to mention the investigation is to find the shooter of someone who shot my friend, why would I interfere with that?"

According to the report, a sheriff's supervisor had to step in and eventually made an agreement with Costa to take pictures of the vest. Walker eventually gave it up.

The investigator notes while he can not conclude definitively that Walker has continued affiliation with the Outlaws — "Mr. Walker continues to show loyalty to the OMC."

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News Article written by: 
Jarrod Holbrook
Source of News article: 
abcactionnews.com




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