Cop Resigns After He's Allegedly Caught Stealing Pills From Hurricane Irma Victim's Home
The deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has reportedly admitted to the theft.
A Florida sheriff's deputy is facing criminal charges after surveillance video emerged that appears to show him stealing pills from the home of a man who suffered a fatal injury during Hurricane Irma.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Cooke was not among the three deputies who responded to the home of Moe Rosoff on Sept. 12 after the man's son called from out-of-state to report his father's home surveillance camera stopped registering movement, according to reports.
But investigators say Cooke did show up at the home later, after Rosoff was taken to a hospital for head injuries he reportedly sustained after falling and hitting his head as Irma raged.
And charging documents say that, this time, Rosoff's surveillance system did pick up movement.
With the camera rolling, the uniformed officer disappears into a bedroom then reappears minutes later in the kitchen.
Cooke then appears to open what appears to be a container, which he then empties into his hand before putting the contents in his pocket.
Documents say Cooke repeated the process with a second item before rifling through kitchen cabinets and drawers.
After disappearing from view into various other rooms, documents say Cooke can be seen holding his hand on his mouth as if consuming something as he re-emerges into camera view.
The incident was reported by Rosoff's son. Mr. Rosoff died at a hospital the same day the footage was taken.
"We were outraged and disgusted when we viewed this," the family said in a statement.
According to WPEC, the arrest report says when detectives confronted Cooke with the family’s video, Cooke said he entered the home by using the garage code in the dispatch log from the earlier visit.
The report says Cooke admitted to taking some pills that were Tramadol, a pain reliever, from the counter. Investigators say they recovered other medications from Cooke’s patrol car.
Cooke faces charges of armed burglary and grand theft of prescription medications during an emergency.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office public information officer Teri Barbera said in a statement to CNN the department "never forgets about its duty to preserve the public's trust."
"Unfortunately, sometimes an employee makes a bad decision, which leads to misconduct," Barbera said. "We investigated and determined his actions were criminal in nature, resulting in the charges."
Cooke's attorney, Stuart Kaplan, called his client's actions "a perfect example of the opioid epidemic, with respect to medication," and blamed the deputies "traumatizing" personal and professional life for his turning to drugs.
"The video speaks for itself, and it highlights the epidemic we're dealing with," Kaplan said. "People who have good intentions, good people, can get hooked on these medications."
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