Lexington firefighter Jarad McCargo was fired Monday in the wake of a hit-and-run crash that left a man in critical condition.
The city announced McCargo's termination hours after he entered a not guilty plea to charges that he drove his vehicle into a man on Euclid Avenue on Friday night.
McCargo, 36, is charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, first-degree assault, and driving without insurance.
The city had initially placed McCargo on administrative leave. But Monday evening the city issued a release saying that McCargo, who had worked for the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services since July 2013, had been terminated from his probationary employment.
McCargo, who has a prior conviction for misdemeanor theft by deception, underwent a criminal background check as part of the evaluation process for his probationary appointment.
"We were aware of his background," said Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason. "We talked to his references."
Earlier Monday, McCargo's attorneys entered a not guilty plea in his behalf during a brief video arraignment Monday afternoon in Fayette District Court. District Judge T. Bruce Bell declined a request to reduce McCargo's bond from $13,050.
McCargo was being held at the Fayette County jail. His next court appearance has been scheduled for Friday morning.
The charges against McCargo stem from a crash outside The Beer Trappe bar at 811 Euclid Avenue just after 11 p.m. Friday.
According to police reports, McCargo backed his Ford Expedition over the curb, striking a man who was identified in a police report as Noel Espino. Espino is listed in critical condition at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
Two other people were hit outside The Beer Trappe before the car crashed into the building. Police have not released names of the two other people who were hit. Police have said McCargo drove away shortly after his SUV crashed into the building.
Officers found McCargo's Ford Expedition later Friday evening, parked near Yellowstone Parkway. Police said they found McCargo hiding behind some garbage cans in a neighbor's yard.
Espino, who reportedly is in the U.S. military, had gone outside the bar to make a phone call when the accident occurred, according to Kevin Patterson, the Beer Trappe general manager.
As many as 30 customers were outside the bar when the Expedition crashed through the front window, authorities said.
McCargo "readily admitted" wrecking and fleeing the scene, according to police.
Rooster Brew in Paris and The Beer Trappe have both planned fundraisers for Espino Wednesday night.
The Beer Trappe will donate $1 from the sale of every draft beer to help him, and West Sixth Brewing will match whatever is collected, said owner Brett Behr. The business has also been accepting donations for him in a bucket placed atop the bar.