Providence Firefighter Arrested in Cranston Assault Should be Fired, Says Mother and Wife of Victims

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


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The Cranston Police Department arrested Willard Whiting, a Providence firefighter, early Sunday morning and charged him with felony assault.

A Providence firefighter arrested for assaulting a Cranston business owner and his son while off-duty should be fired, says the wife and mother of the victims, who has taken to social media to urge people to contact Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. 

The Cranston Police reported that Willard Whiting, a Providence firefighter, struck Cranston business owner Dennis Gamba and his son, Dennis Gamba Jr., early Sunday morning "causing serious bodily injury." SEE ARREST REPORT BELOW

Sharon Gamba posted the following to Facebook following the incident. 

Dennis Jr. update. Surgery next week for a broken orbital bone. His nose is also fractured amongst the numerous stitches and staples. Waiting for some of the swelling to go down. 
An orbital fracture is a traumatic injury to the bone of the eye socket. These injuries are usually the result of blunt force trauma to the eye. 

Witnesses said “Firefighter Whiting" kept hitting Dennis while he was out cold. He was punched over and over while he was unconscious. Can we all call the PFD and ask that he be fired? I need you guys right now. Please see the link to call below. I can’t show you my son's face because you would be horrified. If you can call, just post “done.” We can’t let this happen to someone else. I won’t stop fighting for my family.

Gamba posted Pare's office number -- 243-6060.

Cranston Police Report:

The Cranston Police Department released the following statement on Tuesday, when Whiting was arrested.

"Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Chief of the Cranston Police Department, announces that the Cranston Police Department arrested a Cranston man who struck a Cranston Business owner and his son causing serious bodily injury. Willard Whiting, age 45, of 200 Cannon Street Apt. 132, Cranston, RI was charged with one count of Felony Assault on a person over 60 for assaulting the owner, and one count of Felony Assault on a person causing serious bodily injury for assaulting the son.

On July 22, 2018 at approximately 1:00am Cranston Police contacted Cranston Collison, a tow agency on the police departments tow list to remove a vehicle in violation from St. Mary’s Feast. The tow agency removed the vehicle which was a convertible and had the top down. Once the tow operator transported the vehicle back to their storage yard, he contacted the owner of Cranston Collision in concern of leaving the vehicle outside in the event it rained. The owner and his son stated they would respond to their Cranston business located at 30 Walnut Grove Avenue, to cover the vehicle since the top was down and heavy rain was expected. 

The owner and his son arrived at their Cranston business at approximately 1:33am when they heard a male subject on the north side of the business later identified as Willard Whiting screaming and yelling at a female to get on the motorcycle. The disturbance and yelling continued and when the owner and his son approached them Whiting allegedly attacked the owner and his son causing serious bodily injury. When officers arrived they found the son badly beaten and bleeding profusely. 

A witness provided officers with the license plate of the motorcycle along with a description and indicated Whiting assaulted both victims and fled on a white Harley Davidson. Both father and son were transported to RI Hospital immediately for their injuries.  Officers responded to Whiting’s apartment and noticed the motorcycle in the garage with the blinker still on. Officers made attempts to raise Whiting, but no one would answer. A felony warrant was issued for Whiting after the victims positively identified him as their attacker. The owner was released after being treated and his son is still being treated for his severe injuries and will likely require a long-term recovery.

On July 24, 2018 Whiting was arrested and transported to 3rd District Court to be arraigned on the two felony charges. He was ordered to have no contact with the victims and released on $5000 personal recognizance. He is due in Superior Court for his next court appearance on October 23, 2018.

The NBC 10 I-Team has learned Cranston police arrested a motorcyclist, who allegedly beat a Cranston business owner and his adult son early Sunday morning.

Willard Whiting, 45, of Cranston, has been accused of felony assault for an incident that reportedly left at least one of the men in the hospital with serious head injuries."

NBC 10 reported that Whiting is on a leave of absence from the fire department, previous to and separate from this incident, according the city’s department of public safety.


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