911 call from Fresno Fire Chief's family

June 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Fresno County Sheriff's Department has released the 911 tapes from the night Fresno's Fire Chief was arrested on domestic violence charges.

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On the emergency call you can hear Chief Rob Brown's wife, Beth, telling the 911 dispatcher that her husband is getting violent. She says he was unpredictable and unstable. She also says there was pushing, shoving and hitting before their 16-year-old son dialed 911.

Caller: "We came home and my husband lost his temper, and he's getting a little bit violent. Nobody's critically hurt."

That is a quote from the 911 call made from Chief Brown's house just a few days ago. His wife says her husband had been drinking. Their son made the emergency call, she says because he feared for her safety. The call goes on to play Beth Brown's hesitation to tell dispatch who her husband is.

Dispatch: "What's his name?"

Caller: "I don't want to tell you. I'm sorry. I've got to calm down."

Dispatch: "What's his name, what's your husband's name?"

Caller: "His name is Rob Brown."

Dispatch: "What is it?"

Caller: "Rob Brown. This is why I didn't want to call 911."

Beth Brown is heard on the recording saying she tried to keep her husband from leaving the house. She took the keys to their personal car, so she tells dispatch if he left the home it would be in his city-owned vehicle.

Caller: "He'd be in a marked car, a Fresno Fire Department vehicle. This is why I didn't want to call. I thought we'd be able to handle this ourselves."

Dispatch: "Is he a fireman?"

Caller: "He's the fire chief."

The 911 call lasts for 18 minutes. Beth brown says she was struck by the fire chief.

She also told 911 her husband was very destructive in their house. She says her son pepper sprayed his father to defend her.


Beth Brown answered questions during the news conference with all four of the couples' children there. She said her husband never assaulted any of them.

"I was pushed to get out of the way, not ever struck, never hit in the face, nothing of the sort. And you can tell looking at me, I have no marks, no bruises, no nothing, he never hit me," said Beth Brown.

Fresno Fire Chief's wife, Beth Brown says an argument between Brown and one of his sons quickly escalated because of an "unusually large amount of testosterone." "Things got heated in a hurry and they became more than what we had handled before," she said.

At Friday's news conference the Chief was never in the same room as his family. An Emergency Protective Order requires him to be 100 yards from his wife.

Sheriff Deputies say brown was drunk when he attacked his family. Investigators say the chief threatened to kill them and even choked his son. Brown denied the abuse and called it one of the worst experiences of his life. "There is nothing more important to me than my family and I want them protected at all costs so to have them have to defend me, it's very embarrassing," he said.

Action News has learned a family member pepper sprayed him. Brown's attorney calls the entire incident a "family squabble." "There was pepper spray that was used but again I think that has a lot to do with the youthfulness of the family than the danger of the circumstances," said Charles Magill.

Legal analysts say it is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to change their statements.

Fresno's deputy chiefs will serve as the acting chief while Brown is on leave during the investigation.

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