WHITE HOUSE, Tenn. (WKRN) – He checked on sick patients, offering to take their blood pressure, but now a former firefighter stands accused of stealing those patients’ pain medicine.
Michael Ray Bogle Jr, 33, of Hendersonville, Tennessee was charged with two counts of theft under $500, one count of official misconduct, and two counts of simple possession.
Several White House residents accused the firefighter of stealing pain medicine from their homes.
Resident Willis Birdwell is in constant pain. A glue pump blew up near him when he worked at a GE plant many years ago.
“My back hurt real bad,” Birdwell said. “I was in a bad motorcycle wreck; my skin is like it’s on fire all the time. Without pain medicine, I can’t stand it, even my eyes hurt.”
Because of his injuries, Birdwell is a walking medicine cabinet.
“Some of the medicine is out right now,” Birdwell said as he opened a small case full of pill bottles.
Even though he takes more than two dozen different types of medications, he knows exactly what should be in each bottle.
“I told him it was like 73 in my bottle,” he said.
Back in February, a firefighter who had been to his home responding to a medical call, showed up one day out of the blue; at first Birdwell wasn’t going to let him in until he saw his uniform.
“Well I said I didn’t call you, and he says, ‘I’m here anyway and I want to come on in and check your blood pressure,’” Birdwell said.
The firefighter told Birdwell he needed to write down the names of the medicine and asked for a pencil and paper. Birdwell went to another room to get it.
“When I came back in the room, I caught him with the pain medicine in his hands,” Birdwell said.
He wasn’t alone. At least three other victims in White House also had medicine stolen by Bogle, according to authorities.
“And I just took a liking to him,” victim Patricia Williams said.
Williams, who didn’t want us to show her face, has critical arthritis, a damaged spine, and Parkinson’s Disease.
She said back in March she had fallen and couldn’t get up, so first responders came to assist.
The 73-year-old told police a firefighter she knew as Mike asked if she still kept her medicine under the bathroom sink. She became suspicious, and later found a whole bottle of pain pills missing.
“I had to go without my pain medicine for a month because you can’t get it but once a month legally,” she said.
After a lengthy investigation, Bogle was arrested and booked in the Sumner County jail.
Media General contributors have learned the former firefighter has been with the department since 2008 and resigned from his position March 17.
Both victims we talked with told contributors they don’t believe Bogle was actually using the drugs.
“I don’t really think he took it, took medicine himself,” Williams said. “I think he sold it.”
“I think he sells it,” Birdwell said. “He’s too slick, a crackhead wouldn’t been able to fool me like that.”
Contributors attempted to reach out to Bogle to get his side of the story, but he didn’t return our calls. We also went by his home in Hendersonville and no one answered.
Authorities say Robertson County officials are also looking into similar cases to see if Bogle may have been involved.