Daniel Rushing used to treat himself to a Krispy Kreme doughnut every other week. He used to eat them in his car.
Or at least that was the case until Orlando police officers arrested him for possession of crystal methamphetamine, although the substance in question was just four flakes of Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze.
In the arrest report, Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins, an eight-year department veteran, wrote that she noticed the flakes on the floorboard of Rushing’s car. After administering two roadside drug tests, the results came out positive, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Several weeks later, a state crime lab did another test, and the results came back negative. They immediately cleared Rushing after the results were released.
“It was incredible,” Daniel said. “It feels scary when you haven’t done anything wrong and get arrested. … It’s just a terrible feeling.”
Rushing, 64, was arrested by the Orlando police around 1 pm on December 11 at Robinson Street and Parramore Avenue. According to Daniel, he had just dropped off a neighbor at the hospital for a chemotherapy session — which is something he regularly does every Friday — and he went to a 7-Eleven store at 938 W. Colonial Drive to give a friend a ride home before he got pulled over and arrested.
According to the arrest report, Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins had staked out the 7-Eleven store due to reported drug activity in the area.
Riggs-Hopkins also wrote in the report that she arrested Rushing because he was driving 42 mph in a 30 mph zone and didn’t come to a full stop before pulling out of the store’s parking lot.
Before the arrest, Daniel Rushing took out his wallet and showed the officer his concealed weapons permit, according to the report. After Daniel told the officer he had a gun, she asked him to step out of the vehicle. The officer immediately spotted a “rock-like substance on the floorboard where his feet were,” she wrote in the report.
“I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic,” the report says.
Rushing complied when the officer asked him if she could search his vehicle.
“I didn’t have anything to hide. I’ll never let anyone search my car again.”
Riggs-Hopkins and the other officers then saw three other pieces of the substance and assumed they were crystal methamphetamine.
“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,” Daniel said.
The arrest report confirms that Rushing tried to tell them that what they were looking at was not crystal meth.
His claims were disregarded, and soon he was charged with possession of methamphetamine with a firearm. He then spent 10 hours behind bars before being released on a $2,500 bond.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told Orlando Sentinel that an analyst in its Orlando crime lab did not identify that the officer found in Rushing’s car; she only checked if the substance they found was an illegal drug.
After three days, the State Attorney’s Office in Orlando officially dropped the case.
Rushing, a retiree who worked as an Orlando parks department employee for 25 years, has hired a lawyer and is planning to press charges against the city for arresting him “for no reason at all,” he said.
Rushing didn’t specify the amount he wants, but lawyer William Ruffier says that his client is planning to file a suit next month.
The Orlando Police Department released a statement stating that the arrest was lawful.
Addressing queries as to how many roadside drug tests have produced false results, a spokesperson for OPD wrote, “At this time, we have no responsive records … There is no mechanism in place for easily tracking the number of, or results of, field drug testing.”
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]