It was a remarkable sight of a former police chief eating evidence in open court.
Richard Masten tore up a document containing information about a confidential source, chewed it up and swallowed it!
INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd spoke to Masten and asked, "Why did you rip up that piece of paper and eat it?"
"I didn't want it to get out in any shape or form and I was able to rip off the part that had the written information on it and dispose of it about the only way I had at the time, which was to chew it up," answered Masten.
Masten is the executive director of Miami Crime Stoppers which promises to protect the identity of all tipsters who call in. But, he was ordered by the judge to hand over the document that could identify the tipster who informed on a defendant in a drug case.
Fearing for his source's safety, he tore up the document and ate it. Masten said to the court, "This is the tip that they want."
The judge found his defiance hard to swallow. She called it a "flagrant refusal to honor a court order," and gave him until Thursday to reveal the information or go to jail for 14 days.
Masten said, "It's about the future of potential tipsters knowing they can depend on us to do whatever we have to do to protect their identity."
Boyd asked, "Are you really prepared to go to jail for this?"
Masten said, "I don't like the idea, but I am 100% prepared."
"A former police chief going behind bars, you would be a target," said Boyd.
"I think that's a possibility," agreed Masten.
Nancy Grace, whose nightly HLN show airs at 8 p.m. says the former police chief should be considered a hero.
"I think he should get a medal," said Grace. "I would say the same thing he said. 'You know what? Cuff me!' I would not reveal a confidential informant. Absolutely not!"