Denver firefighters suspended for ‘egregious’ behavior while drinking off-duty

DENVER -- A group of off-duty Denver firefighters has been disciplined after a bar owner complained they not only brought their own alcohol inside his establishment, but were being “very loud and vulgar” during a breakfast-time celebration.

Surveillance video and reports released by the Denver Department of Public Safety reveal some rowdy behavior, including "obtaining" empty coffee cups from a stand and filling them with alcohol they brought inside.

When asked to leave, some members of the group allegedly “hollered insults” and bragged that calling the police "wouldn’t do anything.”

That turned out to be true. The Denver Police Department did not file criminal charges, but Denver Fire Department investigators found the behavior to be “egregious” and punished five employees.

According to disciplinary reports a large group of firefighters and their significant others descended on Central Market’s Curio Bar at 2669 Larimer St. for a retirement party July 23.

Witnesses say the group took over a table inside the warehouse-like space about 8:30 a.m. after previously drinking on the street outside from a cooler.

The firefighters reportedly brought their own liquor bottles inside Curio's space and, documents say, some members of the group took empty coffee cups from a coffee stand and used them to start “drinking heavily.”

Five firefighters were suspended without pay on Nov. 20 after an internal review.

"In terms of the discipline? I believe it will have an effect on all our firefighters," fire department spokesman Greg Pixley said. "They will see we are held to a higher standard and we have an obligation to represent the community on duty or off."

Pixley said the suspended employees fully understand they messed up.

"Not only do these firefighters acknowledge their behavior through the acceptance of the discipline, but our firefighters all want people to know that we are good people and we have a responsibility to behave," he said.

According to a departmental order, Lt. Todd Revious faces a 336-hour suspension without pay for “conduct (that) was unprofessional and egregious and set a poor example for others in the Department.”

Revious was also demoted to firefighter and ordered to undergo anger management classes. An agreement was reached where the demotion would be abated if Revious did not get into trouble again.

Disciplinary agreements show Lt. Jeremy Young was also demoted with abatement and suspended for 240 hours.

Engineers Thomas Calabrese and Raymond Mix, and firefighter Karl Larsen were suspended for 72 hours.

The discipline agreement said, “Revious made at least two alcohol runs," going outside to bring alcohol inside the business."

The owner of Curio Bar described the group as “very loud and vulgar.”

The documents say the owner approached Revious and Young and “told them they could not drink liquor they brought from outside and because of all their behavior they had to leave.”

The disciplinary document went on to say "no one including Revious, made any effort to leave or stop drinking despite being told to do so.”

Young loudly protested, saying they had just ordered food, and they were going to stay and eat.

The owner of the club called police. According to the discipline report, just before 10 a.m., about 40 minutes after they were asked to leave, the group began to do so, but not without mocking the owner.

The report said one member of the group “hollered insults” at the owner.  Police arrived after the group had left.

Discipline papers say Revious “is extremely remorseful.”

The only previous misconduct for Revious was a minor rule violation in 2007 in which he received a written reprimand. The other firefighters had no disciplinary history.

“We’ve moved past the initial incidents and are really happy with the resolution," Curio Bar owner Stuart Jensen said. "All the firemen owned up to their actions and made a point of apologizing.”