What's lurking in the water down in Florida? We're not referring to the Sunshine State's legendary gator population, we're just wondering why all of the news reports out of the state lately seem to feature its citizenry engaging in bizarre, ill-advised and often illegal activities. Today we bring you word of a pair of Clermont police officers who are in hot water following a speeding "prank."
According to reports, Officer Christina Fowler was on duty one evening last March, patrolling Highway 27 when she witnessed a car speeding through a construction zone. After flipping on her lights and pursuing, her quarry momentarily put on its brakes, but then took off at speeds up to 90 miles per hour. Fowler would eventually pull the car over, at which point the driver got out of the car and made a few quick steps, as if attempting to flee. Fowler, a nine-year vet, was approaching the vehicle at the time and drew her gun on the speeder. The suspect then identified himself as fellow officer Marc Thompson, who can then be seen in the dashcam video nearly collapsing from laughter, calling his maneuver a joke. According to the report, a pair of other off-duty officers were also in Thompson's vehicle, one of whom was a sergeant.
Despite speeding through the construction zone, no charges resulted from the incident, although judging by Officer Fowler's patrol car video – available by scrolling down – it looks like a good laugh was had by all.
All except those investigating the incident. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Officer Thompson and Sgt. Mark Edwards were fired earlier this month, and the officer who was in the back seat of Thompson's car ended up with a day's unpaid suspension.
The policemen's union is appealing the firings with the city manager.