Cops, firefighters throw down for charity

Popular event under new leadership

Published On: Apr 15 2013 03:35:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 14 2013 07:56:55 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Thousands witness a string of fights at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Downtown Saturday night, but no arrests had to be made because half of those involved were police officers fighting for a good cause.

The other 15 in the ring were firefighters as well, who know out fires for a living.

The 15th annual Guns N' Hoses Fight Night helped raise thousands of dollars for local police and firefighter charities.

This year's event was under a bit of a black cloud. The man who organized the fights for years is one of the key figures named by Federal Officials in the internet cafe scam involving Allied Veterans of the World.

Robbie Freitas had been vice president for the local Fraternal Order of Police Union. He and former FOP President Nelson Cuba were arrested in March for their alleged role in the scheme that government officials say stole millions of dollars from veterans charities.

Retired Sheriff's Office Chief David Stevens took over the event.

He said the arrest of the organizations two former leaders hasn't knocked out the community's support for the fights.

"I don't think a lot of people have to had their opinion change.  A lot of people know it's a good organization.  You know, we just have to work hard everyday and let them know what it's really about," Stevens said.

Both Cuba and Freitas were removed from their roles in the police union.