A man in Florida has received a settlement of $37,500 from police after being arrested for doughnut glaze found in his car that was mistaken for meth, reports Fox News.
In December of 2015, Daniel Rushing, 64, was arrested for drug charges. Apparently, Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins had found four small flakes of glaze on his floorboard and assumed that they were pieces of crystal methamphetamine. She wrote in an arrest report that she saw “a rock-like substance on the floor board where his feet were.”
Orlando police officers pulled him over after he allegedly failed to come to a complete stop before driving out of a 7-Eleven store on West Colonial Drive. Because of complaints about drug activity in the area, police had been watching the store.
Daily Mail detailed that Rushing, a retiree who worked for the Orlando parks department for 25 years, had just dropped off a neighbor at a hospital for a weekly chemotherapy session, and then drove to a nearby 7-Eleven to pick up an elderly friend who needed a ride home.
Rushing told the officer that the flaky substance was likely sugar from Krispy Kreme doughnuts he’d just eaten. He also informed officers he had a concealed weapons permit and agreed to let them search his car.
He recalled, “I kept telling them, ‘That’s… glaze from a doughnut…’ They tried to say it was crack cocaine at first, then they said, ‘No, it’s meth, crystal meth’.”
After two roadside drug tests of the suspicious sample found in his car, the results developed positive for an illegal substance. Rushing said, “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette before, let alone meth.”
Police charged him with possession of methamphetamine with a firearm and spent 10 hours in jail before being released on a $2,500 bond.
Several weeks later, another test was performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Their results determined it was indeed sugar from the doughnut and not crack or meth. The drug allegations and charges against Rushing were subsequently dropped. He sued the city of Orlando for the false charges.
Rushing mentioned that he has been trying to open up a security business, but now can’t because of his new arrest record. He commented, “I haven’t been able to work. People go online and see that you’ve been arrested.”
However, Orlando police said in a statement at the time that the arrest was lawful and never explained why the glaze tested positive for an amphetamine in both field tests.
Riggs-Hopkins wrote in her report that, “I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the [rock-like] substance to be some sort of narcotic.”
Additionally, an internal affairs report that was released in February by the Orlando Police Department found no evidence that Riggs-Hopkins acted in bad faith. However, the report does note that the department never trained its officers to use the department-issued roadside drug tests.
For making an improper arrest, Riggs-Hopkins was given a written reprimand. Moreover, Orlando Police Department ended up training more than 730 officers on how to properly use the field-test kits.
Rushing has finally received a check for $37,500 last week and told the Sentinel he’s pleased with the outcome of his case. He hopes that he can eventually clear his criminal record.
Rushing was asked if the ordeal deterred him from buying and eating more doughnuts. He responded that he still goes to Krispy Kreme to get a glazed doughnut every other Wednesday and that it hasn’t deterred him at all. Incidentally, though, he says that he doesn’t eat them in his car, for obvious reasons.
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