A Rock Island firefighter got into a fight with a Rock Island police officer when the firefighter punched the police officer in the face, police said Saturday.

Justin T. Welvaert, 27, of Rock Island, was charged this week with aggravated battery, a felony, related to the Feb. 24 incident.

The fight happened just after 1 a.m. in the area of 32nd Street and 24th Avenue, Moline, Moline Police Detective Scott Williams said.

Welvaert allegedly struck officer Jonathan L. Shappard in the face, fracturing his orbital bone around the eye. Williams said the two men were not on duty. He also said alcohol was not a factor.

Williams had no further information Saturday.

The Rock Island fire and police departments could not immediately be reached Saturday for comment.

Welvaert has a preliminary hearing set for Tuesday in Rock Island County Circuit Court.

According to court records, a no contact order was filed.

(8) comments


Not on duty. This should not be news.


First responders fighting first responders Only in the armpit


It was a at a residence in Moline. at 1am.
They were probably at same party and got into a fight.
It was probably a party where policemen, firemen, dispatchers were at.
Their professions were not part of the crime, but they make good news headlines.
But it does make a possible conflict of interest and rift between two departments that work with each other.


They were not on duty. It was a personal matter. Now the fireman will lose his job. It's a sad situation.

Family man

Can they charge him with assaulting an officer if the cop was not on duty? Sounds like we need tougher cops.

green-eyed monster

They always report half of the story and slant it the way they want. What would be wrong with reporting all of the facts. Was the officer in uniform? Did he state that he was an officer?Was there any witnesses? Write a complete story or none at all.


How is this news?


They settled it like men. Commendable.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.