Ryan William Steckler is a captain with the Houston Fire Department who was arrested on May 24. He has been charged with possession of child pornography. Steckler is 36 years old.
According to court documents obtained by Heavy, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off Houston police that Steckler had uploaded at least 10 images depicting young girls in sexual situations. The IP address and email associated with the account that uploaded the images matched Steckler’s information. Steckler had also altered pornographic images with children’s faces.
The girls in the images Steckler uploaded range in age from five to 12. According to ABC 13, images found on Steckler’s online account depicted girls who look like they could be as young as just one year old.
Steckler was arrested at his home Thursday. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children had been keeping tabs on him since October.
Houston Fire Cheif Pena issued this statement to ABC 13 in response to the charges. “Ryan Steckler has been relieved from duty and is currently under administrative investigation following an arrest by the Houston Police Department. Steckler has been employed with the Houston Fire Department for 14 years.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Steckler Worked for the Houston Fire Department Since 2005
Steckler has been with the Houston Fire Department for 14 years. As a Fire Captain, he was occasionally put into situations where he would have interacted with children. The Houston Fire Department Facebook shows pictures of fire staff volunteering at various community events and offering tours of the station to children.
Court documents allege that Steckler uploaded and viewed child pornography at home and at work.
2. Steckler Served in the United States Army
According to information found on LinkedIn, Ryan Steckler served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman from 2000 to 2004. Steckler is proud of his service and has donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit that assists veterans.
In a Facebook post commemorating Memorial Day in 2018, Steckler wrote, “To the fallen, thank you—I will never forget the price you paid. To the loved ones of our fallen, you’re in my thoughts and prayers every day. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!”
3. Steckler Has a Young Daughter
Social media posts reveal that Steckler has a daughter who appears to be around four or five years old.
4. Steckler’s Colleagues & Community Are Shocked by the Accusations
A former Houston Fire Department colleague of Steckler’s, who Steckler had referred to in a post as his “brother” wrote, “Innocent until proven guilty but, if this turns out to be true…..BURN HIM!” in a Facebook post on Friday.
Another former colleague replied, “He was a paramedic with me.. we called him Steck .. good to his brother Firefighters.. but i agree if he is guilt fry him.”
On his public social media accounts, Steckler had maintained a wholesome persona. The bio of a Twitter page belonging to Steckler reads, “Houston Fire Department Captain/Paramedic. US Army Infantry combat veteran. I love God, family, and country. Oh, and football too.”
5. Steckler Is in Police Custody
Steckler is in police custody. His bond has not been set. He has been charged with 10 counts of felony child pornography.