Off-duty firefighters plead guilty in altercation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Off-duty firefighters plead guilty in altercation

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Three San Diego firefighters who got into an off-duty dust-up with two brothers outside a Normal Heights bar in 2012 pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor battery and were sentenced to probation and ordered to do 100 hours of volunteer work.

Vadid Cisneros, 40, Andrew Brennen, 33, and Gregory Econie, 29, were also each fined $655 by Judge Michael Smyth.

"This case has gone on for a long time," the judge said. "I think you've reached a good, just conclusion."

The firefighters were initially charged with robbery, trying to dissuade a witness and making threats in connection with the Feb. 26, 2012, run-in involving Luis and Willie Martinez.

The judge ordered the defendants to stay away from Luis Martinez during their three years on probation. His brother has since died, according to attorneys on the case.

Brennen's attorney, Gretchen von Helms, reminded the judge that the altercation did not happen while the firefighters were on duty. The attorney said that since the incident, Econie has been promoted to engineer, Cisneros recently fell through the roof of a burning building and Brennen and his partner saved a woman from a fire.

In 2012, Econie testified that he, his co-defendants and two female friends were coming out of the Ould Sod bar on Adams Avenue about 2 a.m. when one of the women started kissing a man on a nearby bench.

Econie said Luis Martinez walked up and started taking photos of the couple with his cell phone, commenting on how much money he could make by posting them on Facebook.

Econie said he, Brennen and Cisneros were walking south toward his home when Willie Martinez jumped off his bicycle and hit him in the face.

Willie Martinez later told police that he had used methamphetamine the day before, according to court testimony.

Econie said a disheveled Willie Martinez dropped his wallet while leaning against a building, and Brennen picked some of its contents off the ground.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon alleged that the defendants followed the brothers after leaving the bar, confronted Willie Martinez, and went through his pockets.

Runyon said that one of the defendants took Willie Martinez's wallet and pulled out various items, including an identification card and a picture of one of his sons and said, "We got you. We know where you live."

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