DC firefighter charged with hate crime, terror threat in Pa. road-rage case

WASHINGTON — A D.C. firefighter is facing a hate crime and terror threat charges in Pennsylvania, after allegedly insulting and threatening a driver in a road-rage case.

Adam Kraus, who joined D.C. Fire and EMS in June 2015, has been charged in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, with ethnic intimidation — a felony — as well as misdemeanor counts of simple assault and making terroristic threats causing serious public inconvenience.

According to charging documents, first reported by NBC Washington, the 32-year-old firefighter was off-duty, driving his pickup outside Harrisburg in Lower Allen Township on June 30.

Prosecutors say Kraus was driving on U.S. Route 15 behind a car occupied by two African-Americans — a man driving, and a woman in the passenger seat. Kraus flashed his high beams and honked his horn.

At an intersection, Kraus allegedly waved a handgun and yelled racial slurs at the occupants, saying he would kill the driver and hang him from a tree.

The victims provided a license plate number to police, and identified Kraus in a photo lineup, according to the charging affidavit.

Kraus was released on bond.

“The D.C. Fire and EMS Department is aware of the criminal charges filed against firefighter Adam Kraus by authorities in Pennsylvania,” said chief communications officer Doug Buchanan in a statement. “He is currently on leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.”

Kraus’s attorney, Jonathan White, told WTOP, “he certainly denies any allegations of hate crimes or threats, and we’re currently fighting these in Cumberland County.”

“After a discussion with the police officer involved, we hope these charges will eventually be dropped,” said White. He declined to elaborate on what grounds he believes the counts could be dismissed.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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