A 26-year-old Florida police officer, Daniel Rush — who co-founded a mentoring organization called Men of Virtue & Ethics — of Coconut Creek was arrested Thursday afternoon after being accused of molesting two teenage boys, according to the Miami Herald. During service last Sunday at the Church of Christ in Pompano Beach, one of the victims, who is believed to be a 13-year-old boy, wrote a note to a parishioner that “included claims of sexual misconduct.”
Initially, the teen was reluctant, but sources say he later stated that it was Officer Rush, who has been an officer for the Coconut Creek Police Department since 2011, before pleading with the parishioner to keep quiet about the accusation.
Instead, it was reported that the note was turned over to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office the following day, which prompted an investigation.
Florida police officials later uncovered that another boy, who is believed to be 12-years-old, was also allegedly molested by the officer, which WPTV reported that the first incident occurred last year inside Rush’s home, while the second incident occurred in Rush’s vehicle.
— Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) April 16, 2016
According to the teen, Rush invited him to see a movie at their local movie theater but when the movie was over, they went back to the officer’s home to change clothes — and that’s where the victim stated that the officer began to fondle him.
The second teen, who was allegedly molested by the Florida officer, was also questioned during the investigation and according to arrest records, the teen stated that Rush would take him “shopping and other fun places all the time.” However, one day as the two were at a stop light, the officer allegedly began to fondle him, but he quickly stopped when he was questioned by the teen, reports say.
— Andrew Perez (@PerezLocal10) April 15, 2016
Rush was arrested three days after being accused of molesting two teenage boys, and although he has admitted to knowing the two boys from church and his mentorship program, the officer denied their claims. His attorney, Johnny McCray, stated that his client “has been an upstanding officer, and an upstanding citizen.”
The Florida officer, Daniel Rush, was arrested on charges of “custodial sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.” He appeared in court Friday, where a Broward county judge ordered him to remain in jail without bond.
Albert Arenal, who is the chief at Coconut Creek Police Department, stated that “It has been an extremely difficult day for all our personnel.” After Rush’s arrest, the department has now spent several days looking into his record. Everything from his psychological to his hiring process, no clue whatsoever. No indication of any propensity for this type of activity.”
“The fact that he was mentoring young children, has a website, which we have seen, is a concern.”
After the Florida officer, whose vision is to “improve our community and the way of life for young men growing up in this society,” according to his website, was arrested on molestation charges, the Coconut Creek Police Department has since placed Rush on an unpaid leave.
Due to the fact the Rush’s mentorship program is associated with other churches, investigators believe that there may be more victims. They ask that if anyone has additional information in the case or believe their child may be a victim, to contact BSO Special Victims Detective Ann Suter at (954) 321-4240.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you are urged to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org.
[Image via Broward Sheriff’s Office]