Local News

Durham firefighter fired after arrest in 'Green Goblin' robberies

Posted June 13, 2012
Updated June 14, 2012

— A Durham firefighter was fired from his job Wednesday after being arrested on 43 charges in connection with a recent string of robberies at local businesses.

Damon Quick, 35, of 902 Estelle Court in Durham, was arrested Tuesday night during a robbery at the Dollar Tree, at 3823 Guess Road, Durham police said at a news conference Wednesday.

He had been a city firefighter, earning approximately $40,400, since August 2003.

"This is not representative of our department," Durham Fire Chief Bruce Pagan Jr. said. "It's important that we emphasize that to our citizens. We have a department in which we pride ourselves in being honest and carrying out our duties with a high degree of integrity."

Although Quick had some discipline problems as a firefighter, Pagan said none were serious and none were ever indicative that he might do something like the crimes of which he's accused.

Quick is also charged in seven other robberies between May 8 and June 1 in which he was allegedly armed with a gun and wore a green mask. Police investigating the crimes nicknamed him "Green Goblin."

Durham firefighter faces robbery charges Durham firefighter faces robbery charges

Each robbery happened near closing time, police said, and in each case, he took both cash from the business as well as wallets and cash from employees.

In two instances – one on May 22 at Family Dollar at 2110 N. Roxboro Street and the other on May 23 at a Captain D's restaurant at 4300 N. Roxboro Road – Quick allegedly approached employees while they were taking out the trash.

He fled from the Family Dollar because the store had been locked, investigators said. At the Captain D's, he forced the employee, at gunpoint, back inside the restaurant and fled with cash.

Quick is also accused of robbing GameStop, at 1804 N. Pointe Drive, on May 8; Family Dollar, at 1518 S. Miami Blvd., on May 12; Dollar General, at 101 Ganyard Farm Way, on May 17; Domino's, at 1209 W. Main St., on May 23; and Dollar Tree, at 1515 N. Pointe Drive, on June 1.

He faces 19 counts of second-degree kidnapping, 11 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, seven counts of assault by pointing a gun, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of communicating threats.

He was placed in the Durham County jail Wednesday morning under a $9 million bond but was taken to a local hospital Wednesday afternoon after he tried to attempt suicide, authorities there said. He was in critical condition early Thursday.

According to court records, Quick was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 1993 and for writing worthless checks in 2007.

He was also found not guilty in 2007 of soliciting a prostitute and resisting arrest.

Pagan said that because he was found not guilty, the city did not have enough of a basis to terminate him then.

"We did not have grounds, at that point, to follow through or continue with his termination, so at that point, he was re-instated," Pagan said.

"Of course, we don't have a crystal ball, but had we known this type of situation would have occurred alter, that would have made a difference in my decision back then."


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  • gr8212 Jun 15, 2012

    I just love the excuse the family gave..."our son was probably forced to do this due to someone threatening his family".. REALLY?? Your son robbed people at gunpoint...several people..because he is probably supporting a drug habit. Step into the light and wake up...he is a violent felon and does not need to be on the streets.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Jun 14, 2012

    He was something and now he is nothing. Glad they got their man. He deserves what justice comes him way. Yet, he thought he would never be caught.

  • farm Jun 14, 2012

    raysson, do you realize that first responders deal with those same people everyday as well as the other dangerous aspects of the job?

  • raysson Jun 14, 2012

    Fire fighters put their lives on the line everyday for all of us regardless of the dangers when handling emergency situations.

    If you think your profession is a risk,try being a teacher in the public school system where I was employed for 14 years. That was a risk within itself where you'll dealing with all kinds of children in grades K thru 12,noting any and all of the dangers you face when dealing with different types of children cause you'll never know what you're dealing with on the classroom... and that goes for other employees too. In the public school system,you'll got to take a risk and a challenge everyday when you walk through those doors of the school noting when a situation may occur. I oughta know. It's like walking through a trip-wire waiting to explode.

  • common tater Jun 14, 2012

    Assault, bad checks, solicitation, resisting arrest...sounds like this guy shouldn't have been on the streets, let alone being a in public service job. His superiors need to be held accountable.

  • thefiredog Jun 14, 2012


    I've been both a firefighter and a teacher, and it's no contest, being a firefighter is a much better job, perhaps harder on the family, but a better. Don't believe me, ask around and see how many former teachers you find in other lines of work and compare that to the number of former firefighters you find in other lines of work.

    As for the firefighter arrested some people need to do a reality check. Bankers, lawyers, and pizza delivery guys all make mistakes and get arrested too, it doesn't bring down their whole profession. This guy gets the help he needs, not saying he shouldn't be punished, it's just not high on my list of ways to spend tax dollars. Hope he gets out in ten changed instead of twenty doing the same.

  • raysson Jun 14, 2012

    He was also connected with the robberies of the Dollar Tree at Willowdaile Shopping Center on Guess Road,and the Dollar General across the street on Guess Road too.

  • bubbba Jun 14, 2012

    Once again we are winning the war on drugs.

  • raysson Jun 14, 2012

    this guy was making 50K a year with the Durham Fire Department and he stoops to the level of embarrassment? Going around wearing a "Green Goblin" mask robbing dollar stores and fast food joints. It's amazing that he wasn't dressed as "The Joker" from Batman doing this.

  • raysson Jun 14, 2012

    This incident has put a huge BLACKEYE on the Durham Fire Department and the Durham Police Department....and we depend on them...the HONOR and DEVOTION to the citizens of Durham has just been tossed out the window,due to this incident concerning one of their own...a devoted and respected member of the Department and the Community goes around town in a "Green Goblin" mask robbing dollar stores and fast food restaurants. Only in the City of Durham!!! An embarrassment.