Several women come forward in San Antonio and join the #METOO movement with abuse allegations towards Universal City Fire Chief, Stephen Darnell...
(San Antonio, TX) - On Friday, January 19, 2018, the Universal City Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Darnell was interviewed by local YouTube media outlet which became a firestorm. Chief Darnell appeared on Black Video News to talk about his success as a Fire Marshall and Assistant Fire Chief. In the middle of the interview, Darnell speaks about his climb working as a fireman for 12 years and most recently promoted to assistant Fire Chief a year ago. In the interview, Darnell is compared to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood. Awkwardly, the interviewer talks about the fire hose that Darnell controls, as symbolic of turning the tide on civil rights for African Americans. The interview moved from the official position Darnell holds to a campaign for men's rights against women. Darnell quickly does a Jekyll-Hyde and describes himself as a hurt victim of divorce.
Within the video, Darnell turns to a very dark period in his life, namely going through a divorce in 2014, as he said he did not have anyone to turn to for advice. He talked about going to bed by himself and waking up by himself which he describes as cruelty within his marriage. Darnell created a blog “Fuel the Fire for your Future". Darnell says, “People don’t know us on the inside.” He said they just see us as firemen.
Immediately after the video aired, the comments under the YouTube channel erupted with #MeToo language and hashtags to indicate many untruths that Darnell spoke.
The first public information found is Assistant Fire Chief Darnell is not divorced. After the facts were brought to Black Video News, and a call to remove the video, the video remains online.
There are at least two women who report that they have been victims of violence at the hands of the Fire Chief. You can also find pictures of Darnell promoting his wife's campaign for local political office in the last elections on Facebook. Darnell has maintained a fairly visible social media presence. If Darnell was divorced as he suggested in his interview, there appears to be a ton of family pictures with his wife on Facebook over 2014, 2015, and 2016 that indicate otherwise.
It also appeared one of the victims, who lashed out with #METOO, identity was stolen on YouTube with a fake profile created to counter the negative narrative. It has been alleged by one of the complainers, Stephen Darnell may have impersonated the woman to clear his name. This is being researched by YouTube.com.
It also appears that Darnell used the Tinder.com website to find new relationships which he expressed he was in fact single.
The reports of violence that occurred online prompted the victims to again report to Universal City. We used the term "again" as it may be found the allegations were reported but due to the nature of the influence and position of Darnell, the allegations were swept under the carpet. Fire Chief Manual Casares has been unavailable for comment.
The comments under the published video state loud and clear:
Jennifer Plendo comments: “Don’t fall for this! This guy is a straight up liar and manipulator!! Definitely not a motivator! First of all, Stephen Darnell is currently married, he is not divorced, as his "TINDER" profile reads. This dude beats up, abuses and manipulates women and hides behind his firefighter/fire marshal badge. There was a protective order issued by on November 2016 for beating his wife. I can ratify that as i too fell victim to Stephen Darnell’s abuse. I myself filed a Protective Order against him October 27, 2017. I met this dude on the Tinder dating site back in Feb 2015 (where he publicized he was "divorced"! He shared all info w me about his divorce and did not go 2 years alone with this. We dated off and on from Feb 2015 up until Oct 2017! This is not the good Christian man he claims to be! It's time your mask comes off DARNELL!
#NOMORE #METOO #TIMESUP BVN - #FACT CHECK- Its public information!”
According to news reporter, Cassidy Lowe, “Officials at the Universal City Fire Department have indicated that Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Stephen Darnell is currently under investigation for allegations that stemming from misconduct and reports of abuse of several women.”
@ChiefDarnell @Stephendarnell @fuelingthefireforyourfuture
A man who “fuels the fire” on his family name - commits arson on his own house.
#arsonistdarnell #shameonyouchief #integrityfirst #timesup
The Publisher of this newspaper has received and validated the photos of the domestic violence claimed by the victims which are also evidence being used within this current investigation.
The San Antonio Observer did attempt but was unsuccessful to reach Mrs. Darnell for comment. The newspaper did contact the Universal City Manager's Office and the Fire Chief’s office. As we tried to learn more about Darnell, on the State of Texas Fire Marshall Office website - under search for licensees - we were unable to verify Mr. Darnell's license although he has been serving as a Fire Marshall. We will be doing more on that story as he may have acted without proper authority. Both offices declined to comment on the #METOO allegations.
We received an email response to one of the victims,
“On Friday, February 2, 2018, 10:07 AM, chief <email@example.com> wrote:
Ms. Polendo, I wanted to inform you that I received your citizen complaint package against Stephen Darnell. By state law I am required to furnish a copy of the complaint to Mr. Darnell but I wanted to let you know that I marked out your phone numbers from the complaint form prior to sending him his copy. I am not involved in the investigation but please rest assured that I have an independent law enforcement agency investigating the allegations brought forth. The investigator assigned to this case is Gerard Herrera. From here on out, any communications on this matter will be handled by him. I will await his findings on the matter and act upon that. Thank you for your patience in advance. Respectfully, Manuel Casarez-Fire Chief, Universal City Fire Department, 210-659-0333 ext 786