Florida Cop Suspended After Letting Arrested Couple Engage in Sex Acts in Police Car
"I think they’re making babies back there," one officer allegedly said while watching the car.
While stories of police brutality often dominate the headlines, it seems safe to assume the vast majority of America's roughly 670,000 law enforcement officials, like anyone else, are generally decent people. For every cop caught committing an egregious violation of someone's rights, there are many more cutting people breaks and helping folks out.
One Florida police officer may have taken leniency a little too far, however, when he allegedly allowed a pair of shoplifting suspects to engage in sex acts in the backseat of his squad car while transporting them to jail.
According to official documents obtained by The Smoking Gun, back on July 14th of last year,Fort Pierce Police Department officer Doug McNeal arrested 23-year-old Zachary Moellendick and 24-year-old Krista Leigh after the duo allegedly shoplifted $51.13 worth of jewelry and baby toys from a local Walmart, having been observing them after being warned about the couple by store security. (Moellendick was also arrested on charges of trespassing, as he had reportedly been caught trespassing at the store the day before.) McNeal and other officers searched the two suspects, confiscating the allegedly stolen items before walking them to the patrol car. As he was using crutches, Moellendick was not handcuffed; Leigh was originally cuffed with her hands behind her back, but McNeal re-cuffed her with her hands in front in order to let her smoke a cigarette outside the car before being loaded in.
The event would have been cast off into the infinite pile of sad-but-not-newsworthy Florida Man stories, had things concluded there. But as it turns out, Officer McNeal seemingly had a soft spot for the pair. According to an internal affairs account of the incident from the Fort Pierce Police Department's acting deputy chief Robert Ridle released last week, the couple "can be seen holding each other, cuddling, and kissing" during the ride to the St. Lucie County jail. Upon reaching the jail's sally port, McNeal reportedly parked and began filling out paperwork while the pair in back continued to kiss. Leigh then asked if she could smoke, according to the report; McNeal replied, "Make it fast," before telling her to smoke in the patrol car, as the jail wouldn't let her do so outside.
Then, in an inversion of the usual cultural norm, after finishing their cigarette, the couple proceeded to...well, we'll let the internal affairs report take it from here:
"At 2:25pm, due to Leigh and Moellendick's body posture and arm movements, it is apparent Moellendick and Leigh are sexually pleasuring each other with their hands," Ridle's report reads. "This continues for approximately six minutes."
In an interview with an investigator listed in the report as Detective Gary Eason regarding the incident, McNeal said he had seen the couple kissing and holding each other, but had not observed any sexual activity. That denial might have worked out fine for McNeal...had his body camera not been mounted in a rearwards-facing mount on the dash at the time, documenting the entire tryst.
Moellendick and Leigh were apparently quite willing to corroborate the camera's view to Eason, as well. According to the report, Moellendick told the detective that he "got her off and she got me off;" Leigh was more descriptive, telling the detective that she'd given her partner a "hand job" while he "fingered" her.
And while McNeal may claim not to have seen anything beyond PG-rated fun, other cops apparently weren't spared the sight. "I think they’re making babies back there," a female police officer observing the pair while the car was in the sally port could be heard saying on camera, according to The Smoking Gun.
Officer McNeal was found to have broken several department policies, according to the report, including violation of proper body camera and prisoner transportation duties, use of tobacco in a work environment, and conduct unbecoming, and was suspended without pay. Moellendick was released from jail earlier this month, according to TSG, at the completion of roghly seven months served after his conviction for trespassing and theft; Leigh was convicted of misdemeanor theft on February 14th.