- Jun 24th 2014 at 10:26AM
Deputy Fired For Letting Drunk Pals Heckle Public In Patrol Car
Friends used megaphone to harass bystanders
A police officer took a pair of drunken friends on a cruise through a major bar district and made the spectacularly poor decision of handing over his patrol car's PA mic to one of his intoxicated passengers. The incident happened in the early morning hours in Broward County, Florida.
According to the The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, phone calls from concerned passersby who thought the cruiser was stolen began flooding in after the drunken passenger began yelling derogatory remarks over the 2007 Dodge Charger Pursuit's loudspeaker. Local sheriff's deputies were soon on the scene to end the joy ride. Mello was not drunk at the time, but regardless, he was still released from the department following the August 2013 incident, an episode that is now just coming to light. Mello did, however, call off from his shift the following morning a few hours before getting pulled over.
Fallout from that episode led to 33-year-old Deputy Rodrigo Mello losing his job in January with the department that he'd spent nearly 10 years with, but now, the former deputy is attempting to get his job back. "It was stupid as could be and I look back at it now and it's absolutely ridiculous," Mello said in a sworn statement obtained by the Sun-Sentinel. "It was innocent fun. Now looking back at it, it was the stupidest decision I ever made in my life."
Now, you're probably thinking that there's no way someone could get their job back after such a stunt, right? Well, apparently they might be able to. "It's not a career-ender," Jeff Marano, of the Police Benevolent Association told the Sun-Sentinel. "Did he do something silly? Yeah, but you don't execute a person for that." The Sherriff's Office doesn't seem to be as forgiving, however, with the Sun-Sentinel quoting spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright as saying, "The agency is opposing any attempt by him to be reinstated."
The matter is presently in arbitration.
This article originally appeared on Autoblog.