FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Allowing paradise by the flashing lights got a Florida policeman suspended, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
The Fort Pierce Police Department suspended an officer who allowed two people to smoke, kiss and engage in sexual acts while listening to a Barry White song in the back of his patrol car last July, the newspaper reported.
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Officer Doug McNeal was suspended for 20 days without pay for the couple's actions in the back seat of the patrol car, which was caught on video, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
According to police, on July 14 McNeal took Zachery Moellendick, 23, of Palm Bay; and Krista Leigh, 24, of Melbourne, into custody for shoplifting at Walmart in Fort Pierce, the newspaper reported.
According to the police department’s internal affairs report, Moellendick was put in the back of the patrol car without handcuffs, had a lighter in his pants and a cigarette tucked behind his ear. Leigh was handcuffed with her arms in front of her.
During the drive to the St. Lucie County Jail, video shows the couple kissing and hugging, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported. McNeal played White's 1974 hit "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" as they embraced, the newspaper reported.
McNeal then allowed the couple to smoke, which was a violation of a policy forbidding tobacco use in patrol cars, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers. The couple then began kissing and fondling each other, police said.
McNeal told an internal affairs detective he did not see any sexual activity, but said he “was fine” with the couple kissing, the newspaper reported.
Moellendick pleaded guilty to petty theft and trespassing Feb. 21 and was released from the St. Lucie County Jail on Feb. 21. Leigh pleaded no contest to petty theft, was sentenced to time served and was released from jail, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.