Glazed and confused: US man, 65, wins payout after arrest by cops who mistook doughnut for meth
‘I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette before, let alone meth’
The City of Orlando paid US$37,500 to an elderly man to settle a lawsuit after police officers arrested him for what they thought was meth but was actually flakes of glaze from a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
Daniel Rushing sued the city after a field test incorrectly showed he had drugs and he was taken to jail.
He received the check in the mail last week, he said.
Rushing said he was pleased with the outcome and hopes he can get his record expunged.
He said he’s been trying to start a security business, but to no avail.
“I haven’t been able to work,” he said. “People go online and see that you’ve been arrested.”
The city declined to comment on the case Thursday.
Orlando police officers pulled over Rushing in 2015 after police say he failed to come to a full stop after pulling out of a 7-Eleven store.
Corporal Shelby Riggs-Hopkins wrote in an arrest report that she saw “a rock-like substance on the floor board where his feet were.”
She did two roadside tests and they came back positive for an illegal substance.
Officers said it was meth and took Rushing to jail on a possession of methamphetamine with a firearm charge where he spent 10 hours before posting US$2,500 bond.
A second test, this time from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, determined it was sugar from a doughnut.
Orlando police ended up training more than 730 officers on how to properly use the field test kits.
Riggs-Hopkins was given a written reprimand for making an improper arrest.
Rushing, 65, said the arrest made him feel like a criminal.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’ve never even smoked a cigarette before, let alone meth.”
Rushing, who retired after 25 years with the City of Orlando Parks Department, said he still goes to Krispy Kreme to get a glazed doughnut every other Wednesday.
He just doesn’t eat it in his car.