Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Former Baxter Springs Firefighter Matt Page has been formally charged by Jasper County Prosecutor Dean Dankelson.

Matt Page was arrested in May for looting in the wake of the May 22 EF-5 tornado that went through Joplin.

Originally three firefighters were released from the Baxter Springs Fire Department on June 9, citing unspecified conduct in “disregard of departmental policies and conduct in the aftermath of the May 22 tornado,” according to a release from Baxter Springs Mayor Jenifer J. Bingham.

Brandon Bailey, Jimmy Younger and Matt Page were all released from the department.

Younger said all allegations against him were incorrect. Younger stated that he had not been at work the night of the looting. He said he had been getting his step-daughter out of her damaged apartment.

Younger and Bailey have not been charged.

According to Dankelson, Page has been charged with one class A misdemeanor count of theft for allegedly taking items from the destroyed Home Depot store in Joplin, Mo. Dankelson said the items taken were a gas-powered trimmer, a hose, and miscellaneous tools from Home Depot. Dankelson said Page could face a year in the county jail, a $1,000 fine or a combination of both. He said Page will be given a court date to appear in the Division five circuit court of Jasper County in front of Judge Copeland.

Baxter Springs Mayor Jennifer Bingham was contacted, but said she was not at liberty to comment at this time.