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HomeUS NewsWoman in bikini 'persisted' in riding on San Jose firetruck

Woman in bikini ‘persisted’ in riding on San Jose firetruck

Nearly seven months after the San Jose Fire Department began an investigation into why firefighters allowed a bikini-clad woman in heels to join them for a ride-along near a strip joint, the fire chief said in a memo to the City Council that the crew had allowed the woman to ride inside the firetruck because “she persisted.”

The memo from Fire Chief Robert Sapien Jr. was released Tuesday by the city of San Jose in response to public uproar that erupted after a video posted Oct. 6 on social media showed the woman, wearing a white bikini, stepping out of the firetruck and into the Pink Poodle strip club.

The chief’s memo offered new details about the incident that fire officials said violated the city’s code of ethics and its policies regarding city vehicles and the Fire Department’s ride-along program.

“Only in San Jose do you see a stripper come out of a firetruck,” read the caption of the video, posted on Instagram by a user going by San Jose Foos.

The video sparked an internal investigation into the Fire Department in October, when then-San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement that “heads must roll” if the video of the emergency vehicle stopped in front of the strip club “is as bad as it looks.”

San Jose officials have not released details about what disciplinary action had been taken, citing city policy, but new Mayor Matt Mahan told The Times in a statement that “significant and appropriate discipline was taken as a result of the City’s investigation.”

“I am disappointed and frustrated that City policy does not allow us to share further details with the public,” Mahan added.

According to the chief’s memo, which is dated April 25, the crew assigned to the firetruck in the video had first given an “unauthorized, male passenger” a ride from the fire station to his job at the Pink Poodle on Oct. 5.

The memo does not identify the male or explain why the firefighters gave him a ride to the strip club in the emergency vehicle. When the fire engine arrived at the club at about 9:06 p.m., a woman in a white bikini climbed into the cab of the firetruck and requested a ride-along, according to the memo.

“The crew first declined to provide the female with a ride-along; however, she persisted and was driven partially around the block and returned to The Pink Poodle at approximately 9:10 p.m.,” the memo reads.

The memo said the fire crew then left the area and headed to an industrial area in the city, stopping at 9:14 p.m. near AJ’s Restaurant & Bar, which according to its Facebook page features “nightly entertainment featuring beautiful bikini dancers.”

The firetruck stopped at the location for about two minutes before heading back to the fire station, according to the memo.

The note to the City Council and mayor does not explain why the fire crew stopped at the bar.

Sapien did not immediately respond Wednesday to questions from The Times about the incident. He said in the memo that the crew’s actions violated the Fire Department’s policy and procedures for leaving its response area.

“The City has taken appropriate disciplinary action,” Sapien wrote, “and now considers this matter closed.”

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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