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Denton firefighter arrested on harassment charge

DENTON -- A Denton firefighter was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion that he repeatedly harassed a former fire department volunteer who had ended a relationship with him.

Police identified the firefighter as Daniel Robert Hankins who was taken into custody on a charge of harassment.

The 15-year veteran of the department remained in the Denton City Jail Tuesday morning.

Denton Deputy Fire Chief Mark Klingele said the department would begin an internal investigation into the case as soon as possible.

"We have not had a chance to talk to Dan," Klingele said Tuesday morning.

No action had been taken against Hankins, Klingele said.

Hankins, 40, was arrested Monday afternoon after he was warned by Denton police to stay away from the woman, but police said he sent two text messages to her earlier in the day.

A harassment complaint was first filed against Hankins on May 10 by the 37-year-old woman who had been a member of the Denton FireCATS, a fire department volunteer group, police said.

She had quit the group and had had a romantic relationship with Hankins, police said.

After filing the complaint, the woman told investigators that she repeatedly received threatening, graphic and derogatory text messages and phone calls from Hankins while he was on duty, police said.

She reported the harassment to Hankins’ supervisors and changed her phone number, but the calls and text messages continued, police said.

On June 25, the woman told police her phone was ringing constantly, but it stopped after she contacted Hankins’ battalion chief. Hankins was on duty that night, police said.

Then last week, Denton police Sgt. Jim Brett met with Hankins and warned him that he would be arrested if he continued to contact the woman. Hankins told Brett he would leave her alone, police said.