Fla. Cops Who Trashed Suspect's Car Resign

Two Apopka police officers resigned after admitting they vandalized a car that a suspect was driving.


APOPKA, Fla. --

Two Apopka police officers resigned after admitting they vandalized a car that a suspect was driving, WFTV was told Friday. The internal investigation shows Officers Chris Sprauer and David Perry were angry that the suspect they had chased by car has escaped on foot.

The Apopka Police Department said it has forwarded the report to the State Attorney's Office and it is still under review. The officers could be charged with felony criminal mischief.

The Apopka police officers admitted to using their department-issued flashlights to bust the car's stereo. Pictures show the speed odometer was cracked, a door handle was broken and oil was scattered on the back seat.

Sprauer and Perry resigned on Thursday after they were accused of vandalizing the 1978 green Buick in January. The officers admitted they vandalized the vehicle, but said they are not responsible for the oil spots.

In an internal investigation, Perry said he used his flashlight to damage the gauges inside the car.

"I guess I deliberately broke two of them," Perry said in the report.

Sprauer told internal affairs, "I was a little upset with myself for, you know, letting my temper get the best of me."

The officers claim they were trying to make a traffic stop, but the driver got away. The officers said they found the car and got angry because they couldn't figure out how to turn off the stereo.

Captain Matthew Gibbs issued a statement for the Apopka Police Department: "Although unfortunate, it was determined two of our officers were involved with the intentional damage of the vehicle."

Police contacted the registered owner and she said she let someone borrow the car. The owner declined to prosecute and the city issued a $1,700 check for damages.

WFTV contacted the car owner and a family member said they are glad the officers resigned.

The two men do not qualify for pension benefits because they have been with the department for less then 10 years. The police department said it plans to send the investigation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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