Fresh details surrounding last month’s release of a video featuring a scantily-clad woman stepping out of a San Jose Fire Department engine and into a strip club were revealed Tuesday that could add a twist to an ongoing investigation, according to media reports.
The video, posted last month but later deleted, shows a San Jose Fire engine with lights flashing and a marking that says “E4” stopped after dark in front of the Pink Poodle club on South Bascom Avenue. After a few seconds, a door opens and a woman in a bikini emerges, turning and shutting the door before walking toward the club’s entrance.
As first reported by NBC Bay Area and later confirmed by Bay Area News Group, that wasn’t the only adult entertainment establishment Engine 4 visited on the evening of Oct. 5. GPS data obtained by the news outlet showed that after the engine departed the Pink Poodle — where there had been no call for service, according to dispatch records — at 9:10 p.m., The engine then traveled approximately two miles to AJ’s Bar, a bikini bar on Lincoln Avenue, where it remained parked from 9:14 until 9:18.
Text messages obtained by NBC Bay Area also revealed internal department conversations surrounding Mayor Sam Liccardo’s scathing “heads must roll” statement after the video surfaced.
According to the outlet, a SJFD spokesperson texted fire Chief Robert Sapien Jr. that they told someone close to the mayor’s office that Liccardo’s statement could be “picked up as headlines that would reflect more negatively on the dept than necessary.”
Liccardo’s statement, which was not publicly altered or rescinded after its release, read: ““If the investigation concludes that this video is as bad as it looks, then heads must roll. We cannot have a life-critical emergency rescue apparatus relegated to a frat party bus, nor tolerate any conduct that so demeans the heroic work of the rest of our SJFD team.”
Bay Area News Group submitted record requests for internal information from both SJFD and the mayor’s office, but officials had not responded at the time of publication. Liccardo’s office has repeatedly declined to comment beyond his initial statement.