INVESTIGATOR: Cleveland Hopkins firefighter goes on rampage

7:57 PM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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Channel 3 has learned that a Cleveland Hopkins Airport firefighter has been allegedly terrorizing a Cleveland Heights neighborhood for more than a month.  

Today he is behind bars.

Not all  firefighters in the city are stationed in the city's neighborhoods or downtown.

There's a select group that works out of Hopkins, ready to respond to trauma, tragedy and, of course, a plane crash. They operate under the Cleveland Department of Port Control. An airport spokeswoman said they are represented by a different union than Cleveland firefighters, who are members of local 93.

One of those airport firefighters is Josh Victoroff, a University Heights resident who has worked as a firefighter at the airport since 2009.

But this past year, Victoroff, 35, has been on the wrong side of the law. 

In July, Cleveland Heights police responded to a report of a burglary at the Church of the Redeemer on South Taylor Road. According to the police report, Victoroff was arrested for breaking into a side basement window.

Later that night, police say he violated a protection order by going to the home where his wife is staying.  

A few weeks after that, Victoroff allegedly tried breaking into a house on Fairmount Boulevard but awakened the owner.

Then, police say, he went across the street and took a crow bar to the back doors and windows of several businesses, including a bakery.   Smashing glass, he cut himself badly.  

The Fairmount School of Music, which is on the second floor, had the most damage -- broken doors and windows and fractured walls.  

The cooler in the back of On the Rise bakery was also damaged.   An employee of that bakery said "I think he must have been in a bad state of mind. It's not right."  

Tim Kempf is the co-owner of the furnishings store Duo Home, one of the five businesses on this quaint strip of Fairmount Boulevard, all of which Victoroff allegedly tried to enter by prying at the back doors with a crowbar.  

"There was blood on a couple of other back doors and clearly the damage made him look really, really angry," said Kempf.  

None of the stores reported anything stolen. Money and computers were untouched.  

"I hope he gets whatever help he needs," Kempf said.  

A spokesman for the Hopkins Fire Department says Victoroff has been AWOL since the night of the vandalism spree.

He has not been paid for the nine days he's been absent -- but, for the time being, he officially remains a Cleveland firefighter.  

Victoroff is in the county jail, facing a number of criminal charges, including breaking and entering, vandalism and burglary.


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