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Deputy fired for letting drunken friend use patrol car PA to heckle people

"Girls, put your vaginas back in your pants," ex-deputy Rodrigo Mello's intoxicated friend allegedly said.
By Evan Bleier   |   June 23, 2014 at 9:12 AM  |  Updated June 23, 2014 at 11:07 AM   |   Comments

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 23 (UPI) -- A Florida deputy is trying to get his job back after he was fired for taking his drunken friends on a joyride in his patrol car and letting them heckle Fort Lauderdale residents with the vehicle's public address system.

Rodrigo Mello was fired in January after the August incident and has been trying to reclaim his job via an arbitration process ever since, the Sun Sentinel reported.

During the incident, the 33-year-old officer went for a cruise while one of his friends said inappropriate things over the car's loudspeaker to pedestrians and the other friend was passed out in the backseat.

"Girls, put your vaginas back in your pants," Mello's intoxicated friend allegedly said.

The heckler also yelled at a local hot dog vendor and was so vulgar that some people called 911.

"They're saying extremely lewd and really stupid things over the P.A.," said a 911 caller.

"Apparently there are some kids with dad's off-duty car," another caller said. "They're saying rude comments and driving around. ... I don't think sheriffs would act like that."

When Fort Lauderdale police pulled Mello over, his vehicle was confiscated and he was sent home. Although his friends were drunk, Mello was not intoxicated.

"The agency is opposing any attempt by him to be reinstated," said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright.

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