OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee County Fire Rescue firefighter was sentenced to one year probation after pleading no contest to the charge of misdemeanor battery. Timothy Palmer was arrested in March of 2020 and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman.
Palmer enter a no contest plea to the lesser charge of misdemeanor battery on March 1, 2021.
According to the arrest report, Palmer and the woman got into a verbal argument that escalated into a physical altercation when he slammed a door on her foot (which was later determined to be broken) and then reportedly laughed about it. He then allegedly pulled the seat belt around her throat and said, “You should be afraid of me, because I’ll *** kill you.”
Palmer claimed slamming the door on her foot was an accident and denied choking her with the seat belt. He also claimed she hit him in the mouth.
At the time, Public Safety Director/Fire Chief Ralph Franklin said they were aware of the charges and Palmer was placed on unpaid leave until the situation could be resolved. They planned to monitor the situation as the case progressed and take appropriate actions as needed. “Firefighters are held to high standards both on and off duty,” said Chief Franklin. Because the charge he pleaded guilty to was a misdemeanor and not a felony, Palmer was permitted to go back to work for OCFR.