Independence firefighter on leave after allegedly assaulting woman during bar fight

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence firefighter is on leave after a woman said he assaulted her at a bar.

Taylor Bass, 27, is expected in court on June 30.

“I don’t feel safe with him being a first responder because he has assaulted me for how I dress,” said Bailee Cress, who was allegedly assaulted.

Cress said on Cinco de Mayo, she and her friends were at Saint’s Pub and Patio when a big fight broke out.

Cress said she wasn’t a part of the brawl, but a guy who was walked up to her and punched her on the forehead.

“In my head I’m thinking he probably thought I was a man because, to the eye, I do dress manly,” Cress said.

But Cress said when things calmed downed, the same guy came back and asked her if she wanted to fight him.

“I said I’m a female, and then he still approaches me and punches me in my left ear,” Cress said.

Cress said it wasn’t the punch that really left her in shock. It was the comment that followed it.

“He says if she wants to look like a man, you can get hit like a man,” Cress said.

An Independence police report confirmed the man is Taylor Bass.

FOX4 reached out to the city about the allegation and the charges Cress pressed against Bass.

The sent a statement that said, “Per standard procedure, the accused has been put on leave while the investigation is ongoing. It is not the city’s policy to discuss personnel matters. No further comments will be provided.”

Cress said Bass should be held accountable for his actions and words that night since he is a first responder in the community.

“I’ve never been discriminated,” Cress said. “I’ve never been assaulted for who I love.”

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