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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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 277 Comments
      • 9 Months Ago
      This a law enforcement officer which has the ability to take life on a split second decision??? The stupidest thing I ever did in my life as I am put/work in situations daily critical to the safety of the public??? Looks like the act caught before a serious tragedy ever happened?
      robegaspie
      • 9 Months Ago
      Fire his irresponsible ass !!!!!
        Carol
        • 9 Months Ago
        @robegaspie
        They did . Hopefully he wont get back in.
          David S.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Carol
          Don't bet on it. The police union is powerful. About 10 years ago, two cops in Cincinnati escorted a drunk woman home from a bar and had sex with her at her apartment (while on duty). The city fired them, and the union got them their jobs back. Nice, huh?
      buckeye3118
      • 9 Months Ago
      Unfortunately, too many in law enforcement think the laws they are sworn to uphold don't apply to them. It's not their fault, they are just following the lead of Attorney General Place Holder.
      chrissf4529
      • 9 Months Ago
      It should be a career ender. If he uses this poor judgment in a "no brainer' situation. He cannot be trusted to make rational decisions in high pressure situations.
      wodmann
      • 9 Months Ago
      if i was a cop in florida, i'd let loose, too......
      jdu7155024
      • 9 Months Ago
      He wasn't drunk? Yeah right!
      usapaydirt
      • 9 Months Ago
      When the caller said it was a cops car, giving dispatch the tag number, it's almost like the woman in dispatch started to back peddle and wanted her to call the sheriff's dept. instead, not wanting to get involved with having to police their own.... It's like the corruption syndrome runs all the way to dispatch.. Sad....
      Blessed
      • 9 Months Ago
      " Arbitration" aye? So the worm wants to avoid the unemployment rule which we must ALL live by and that is that if the loss of your job is due to your own actions-no check for YOU! Still fooling himself into thinking he can jive talk his way out of it and NOT lose his pension? Get a new job, man! C'mon! Ten years knowing the rules of a job where you are the one link between crime and punishment and suddenly you draw a blank because of a few buddies who said " hey let's go for a joy ride in your Cruiser! " ? And you weren't even at all impared mentally? It's a wonder you didn't shoot your own self those ten years! Oh but then you did when you agreed to trip through the city with a couple of drunks and let them abuse city property which frightened innocent citizens and stopped your fellow Officers from their sworn duty by deterring them from performing a service to those who might have been in serious need of assistance. Dude seriously, you're making a thing of yourself. Just be happy they didn't tear you a new one and just shut your mouth, duck out quietly and follow the sun out of town. I've made HUGE mistakes as well but even I knew to be grateful they weren't worse than they were and I changed paths with a quickness. You can too.
      gxball
      • 9 Months Ago
      i was impressed it was in english. Good thing they didnt give him a loaded gun that night. i think i know this sheriffs wife in Florida.
        Susan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @gxball
        Surprising he has a wife. Wives don't last long in the law enforcement world. Where I live in S FL, the cops are all (yes, ALL) screwing around and abusive towards spouses and girlfriends. They spend their off hours in the tittie bars getting lap dances. They're the lowest of the low.
        roarner
        • 9 Months Ago
        @gxball
        In the English language sentences start with a capital. Who cares if you knew his wife, he probably knew yours, and yomama also. "Good thing they didn't give him a loaded gun that night" , that sounds like you don't know what you're talking about oddball. What country are you from where cops go to work with an unloaded gun?
        clwgeorgetownlaw
        • 9 Months Ago
        @gxball
        English please....
        Aissa2
        • 9 Months Ago
        @gxball
        gxball. No wonder you were impressed, since English is always capitalized, a contraction includes denoting as (didn't) and subsequent i's are also capitalized. Therefore, I can see how YOU would be impressed.
      gordonrobroy
      • 9 Months Ago
      in a sheriff dept you serve at the pleasure of the sheriff----he can fire you for anything----now for city and state cops there is a civil board that can overturn the chiefs decision--and courts that can overturn everyones decision...
      Mr. ROC
      • 9 Months Ago
      Some people do not value their careers. This person seems to be one of them. Law enforcement is one place where quality and excellence is required. No one is "perfect", but this is a violation of one of the most simple codes of conduct. How can the public be sure he will take more important issues seriously?
        Susan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Mr. ROC
        He thinks he's above the law, so it's not a matter of 'valuing'. He just thought he could do as he pleased. Another punk in polyester.
        bdgrizcp
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Mr. ROC
        Quality and excellence have gone the way of the buggy whip. Now it's trench warfare, us versus them, and the public is enemy number one as far as your law enforcement types are concerned. Serve and protect means to serve our self interest and protect our pensions. Annually and increasing year by year: the number of police killings exceeds the death toll from capital punishment. A military bunker mentality has taken over our police. And cowardly district attorneys softpedal prosecution of police officers except under severe and extraordinary circumstances--no one ever wants to be labelled soft on crime. I fault the police union(s) more than any other factor. They will go balls to the walls defending one of their own no matter how obvious the offense.
        roarner
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Mr. ROC
        Sometimes it amazes me what dumb things people do when they are with their friends. Can't say he didn't ask for this one. It's the signs of the times. It's all part of the dumb down society in which we live.
      • 9 Months Ago
      I am a retired police Sergeant from California. I STRONGLY disagree with Jeff Marano from the Police Benevolent Association for defending this idiot and downplaying his behavior by labeling it as “silly.” His take-home vehicle was an extension of his police authority, much like his badge and his gun. He abused his police authority and tarnished the pride and professionalism of his agency. His “silly” and “innocent fun” behavior brought shame and discredit and disrespect to his agency and to its deputies. Providing cover for this idiot is the wrong message to send, not only to the community, but to the rest of the deputies who continue to work hard and risk their lives everyday. It is behavior like this and the “head in the sand” mentality of people like Jeff Marano that continues to erode the respect and cooperation of the citizens we protect and serve.
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