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Firefighter fired after crashing wedding party, threatening bride

Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 24, 2016

A Largo (Florida) firefighter was let go after a drunken Saturday night in Downtown Dunedin.

According to deputies, 34-year-old firefighter Joshua Willard, and his friend, 33-year-old Patrick McAllister, crashed a wedding reception at the House of Beer warehouse Saturday night. Deputies say the two weren't invited and didn't know anyone at the party. When they were asked to leave, Willard pushed several guests and threatened the bride with a closed fist. McAllister took the eye-glasses off of one of the guests and threw them to the ground.

"It's really not fair that someone can make a statement and based on that statement, my career got ruined." Willard said, denying the allegations against him. He was fired from the Largo Fire Department Monday morning.

Willard says his friend, McAllister was visiting from out of town. He decided to take his friend to Dunedin to have some drinks. Willard says they stumbled upon the wedding reception and some people outside invited them in. He says they grabbed a couple of shots from the open bar.

"I don't really remember what happened after that." He explained the shots appeared to be doubles and he blacked out from the alcohol.

When asked why he believes he didn't push guests or threaten the bride he said, "It's not my nature."

"And, my friend (McAllister) has really good memory and he says none of that (expletive) happened." Willard added.

The co-owner of the House of Beer reached out to the bride and groom. They didn't not return a message. 

It turns out, Willard was only employed with Largo FD for three weeks. Chief Shelby Willis says Willard was still on a probationary status and violated the department's ethical code. She fired him Monday morning.

According to Willard's personnel file, he has worked at 4 different departments since 2011. Most recently he was a firefighter at PIE airport. In 2015, he was asked to resign from a fire department in Lee County. In his application, he says he was asked to resign because he left his dress uniform at home when he needed it for the day.