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Canfield firefighter charged with sex crimes in East Palestine

EAST PALESTINE (WKBN) – A former Akron Children’s Hospital employee and Canfield firefighter is now facing sex charges.

Timothy Bruner, 54, was arrested and charged with compelling prostitution and possessing criminal tools in East Palestine on Friday as part of an investigation of the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

Authorities say he went there to meet who he thought was a 15-year-old girl only to be caught by local police and Task Force agents.

Bruner, who works part-time at the Cardinal Joint Fire District in Canfield, was placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of his criminal case.

According to fire Chief Donald Hutchison, Bruner has not been active at the fire department recently due to a medical condition.

“We were appalled to learn of this employee’s alleged illegal conduct relating to a minor, and we have and will continue to work closely with law enforcement authorities to ensure that they have any necessary information to investigate this individual. We also support law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office in pursuing justice and to protect the health and well-being of minors,” he said.

Hutchison added, “Although the employee is presumed to be innocent, he violated a trust placed in the fire service and in our department, which will not be tolerated if proven to be true.”

Bruner also worked at Akron Children’s Hospital, though the hospital said he had no direct contact with the patients. A spokesperson there said they fired Bruner upon learning of the allegations and plan to cooperate with law enforcement.

Bond in the case was set at $20,000, and Bruner is due in court again at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 28.

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