WATCH: Florida deputy steals cash and drugs from elderly man fatally hurt during hurricane
Deputy burglarizes elderly storm victim's home (WPEC)
Florida sheriff’s deputy was arrested after surveillance video showed him stealing from an elderly man who was fatally injured during Hurricane Irma — and the victim’s family believe he may have done it before.
Deputy Jason Cooke was taken into custody last week on burglary and grand theft with a firearm charges for allegedly robbing the home of 85-year-old Moe Rosoff, who fell during the storm and later died, reported the Sun-Sentinel.
The Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy allegedly found the garage code in a dispatch log and used it to gain access to the home 90 minutes after paramedics took the gravely injured man to the hospital.
The home was equipped with a motion detection system that recorded video showing Cooke inside the home, and the dead man’s son later turned the video over to police.
Relatives say Cooke stole money, jewelry and medications from the home — and they accused police of dragging their feet on the arrest and withholding documents about the case.
The family reported the video to police on Sept. 20, eight days after the break-in, but Cooke was not arrested until Oct. 19 — nearly five weeks later.
Relatives said the video appeared to show Cooke popping a pill into his mouth as he left the home, and they said investigators later found drugs in his patrol car that probably did not belong to their dead father.
They said police allowed Cooke to enter a 30-day drug rehabilitation program before his arrest, and they said officers blocked the police report from them until the day after Cooke’s arrest.
The family also said the number and variety of drugs found in Cooke’s patrol car suggests he may have been using them while on duty.
“If Officer Cooke was operating in his official capacity under these medications,” the family said in a statement, “it is our belief that he may have posed a significant threat to the public’s safety since just a few of the noted side effects of these medications include confusion, impaired thinking, impaired reactions, abnormal behavior, tremors, drowsiness, altered state of consciousness and anger. In our opinion, had we not had this video, this cop would still be out there posing a threat of danger to the community he swore to protect and committing more crimes.”