Firefighter gets letter of reprimand over off-duty fatal road-rage incident

Investigators: Joshua Tullis did not use good judgment

By Michael Seiden, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - Paul Peterman died Oct. 13, 2016, during a road-rage confrontation with Joshua Tullis, a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue firefighter and paramedic, who honked his horn to warn him.

Peterman, who was deaf, was 37. His relatives said they are disappointed. While they are devastated by the loss, they said Tullis won't be facing any consequences. 

Prosecutors decided not to charge Tullis last year. On Thursday, Broward Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs investigators released the results of their investigation.

The investigators reported they determined Tullis violated the sheriff's rules when Peterman was killed, and his actions while off-duty "reflected conduct which does not align with the use of common sense and good judgment." Tullis will be getting a reprimand letter.  

Peterman and Tullis were driving their pickup trucks into Coral Springs. Investigators learned Tullis honked at Peterman, who couldn't hear the honking. After an exchange on the road, both Peterman and Tullis pulled over to the side of the road. 

A video shows Peterman got out of his car, but Tullis didn't. Peterman jumped into Tullis' passenger-side window. Tullis said he was so aggressive it prompted him to step on the gas in fear. During the fall, Peterman suffered multiple skull fractures and a broken neck. He died from his injuries. 

Tullis said he was truly sorry for what happened. He said he did everything that he did to get away from danger. Broward County determined he will get to keep his job. 

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