Trooper smashes window of Hooters to steal beer taps, Florida cops say. He’s fired

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is accused of smashing the window of a Hooters overnight and stealing beer taps from the restaurant, authorities said.

Now, he’s out of a job.

The Daytona Beach Police Department responded to a burglary alarm at around 1:30 a.m. on March 28, according to a Volusia County arrest affidavit.

An officer reported finding a large, shattered window and a truck sitting in the otherwise empty parking lot.

He approached the truck and saw a 49-year-old man from Palm Coast who appeared to be putting something into the bed, according to the report obtained by McClatchy News.

When he spoke with the man, he initially told the officer he was on his way home from his friend’s house and was looking for some place to use the bathroom, police said. The man also said he was looking for a place to get food, but the officer countered there was a 7-Eleven and a Wawa less than 500 feet away that were both open, according to police.

As the two were talking, the officer said he noticed the man had glass on his shoes.

When the Hooters manager arrived, police viewed surveillance footage showing a cinder block hurled into the window and the man entering the restaurant, authorities said.

He was captured on camera walking around inside holding a flashlight and a white bucket, according to police. He went behind the bar and removed four beer taps, placing them in the bucket before leaving and loading the items into his truck, police said.

The trooper was charged with burglary of a dwelling or structure causing damage in excess of $1,000, Volusia County records show. His attorney information is not available in case records. All four beer taps were recovered, police said.

He was fired from the Florida Highway Patrol that same day, according to the agency.

“FHP is an institution dedicated to serving and protecting the public, and integrity is the foundation of our professionalism and credibility,” a spokesperson told McClatchy News in an emailed statement. “Due to the serious nature of the recent allegations, the Executive Director issued an extraordinary dismissal, thereby terminating his employment immediately.”

The former trooper’s actions do not reflect the agency’s “core values,” the spokesperson said.

Daytona Beach is on the east coast of Florida, about a 60-mile drive northeast of Orlando.

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